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Novel-Idea


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May
27th
2018

Everfree Northwest 2018: Friends, Magic and Connections - Day 1 - Friday · 6:30am May 27th, 2018

One critical thing I haven’t made clear enough: the only reason I managed to go to EFNW was because of EbonQuil’s generosity. I won’t go into specifics, but I can say with confidence that I would not have been able to enjoy this amazing time if it hadn’t been for him.

Also, I forgot to post a key moment of Thursday night’s activities: us watching Corejo play “The ComCast Game,” AKA No internet Game on Chrome last year!

Friday started bright and early for me at 7:15, even if I didn’t force myself out of bed until 7:30. On Swan’s suggestion, a bunch of us headed over to Dave’s Diner, which was lauded as a much better alternative to Denny’s (I know, not the highest bar, but what can you do?)

Seriously, this had the best diner experience ever, even if the food was just okay. For that first morning, it was just Arcshod, Loofa and Corejo, I think. We got to geek out about KOTOR (which Arc was playing on his iPad) and Bioware’s successes and not-so-successes.

We headed back to the hotel and met up with Albi, then made sure he got his Badge. Mono, Jyki and Swan were in the line, too.

Now, Jyki gets a special mention here. Thanks to Overlord Neon, I got a new Con Badge specifically for EFNW!

Jyki was kind enough to print it with his fancy new printer, laminate it and even put a little clip on it! Only one little catch: in the craziness of getting to the airport and Seattle, it somehow slipped out of his bag. I’ll admit, I was sorta crushed, but Jyki swore to make it right. And he did at the 11th Hour.

After chatting with Mono, Albi and a few others, I got a message on Discord through the Equestria Daily EFNW Staff channel that to my total surprise, they wanted Community Guests on stage at 10:30 AM for introductions at Opening Ceremonies.

EFNW Opening Ceremonies

Mono may have panicked a little… and I may have had to grab her about a dozen times to keep her from scampering off. Albi I dragged a little… and pushed a little… and generally herded the two to a spot where we could go.

I do love Con Opening Ceremonies. They’re usually adorable. This time, they did their usual adorable skit… and then kicked it out of the park with a freaking epic introduction of all the VIP guests in a The Greatest Showman-style opener!

I love Ashleigh Ball. Seriously. She’s glorious. A freaking duet for an opener? Yes, please! Damn, EFNW does things in style!

One catch: we were up next. (Click the link to see Swan taking video of us!)

Now, remember when I said that Jyki came through at the 11th hour? When we were backstage totally panicking about getting ready to go up there, Jyki rushed back there with Swan and Autumn… and got me a replacement badge! He’d gone to a print shop by taxi, got the thing reprinted, relaminated AND did the little clip thing! He got it for me right before I had to go on stage. DAMN THIS GUY IS AWESOME.

...you know what helps being on the Mane Stage of EFNW? Not being able to see a damn thing.

The four spotlights they used were utterly blinding, casting everyone into total shadow (this would become pretty damn funny in the EQD Panel on Sunday). I have to say… it was weird getting cheered when introduced. Mono and Albi totally got more than me (thankfully).


Pictures courtesy of Swan Song

One more catch: they wanted us to introduce ourselves. WAGH!

Seriously, I had no idea that was going to happen. I just let “PR Novel” take over. I don’t even remember what I said. Something about Novel-Idea, FanFic columnist, EqD, author of Wavelengths and a bunch of other things? Mono, of course, was perfectly smooth and confidant, as was Albinocorn.

What do you mean the video above has the introductions!?

After that, we all fled.

A Quick Respite

We all wandered the Vendor Hall for a little bit, before I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to sign a printed cover of the story Cleave by BlazzingInferno for the Charity Auction event. I rushed upstairs to take care of that and totally did not mess up my signature. It was signed by BlazzingInferno, the voice actors who did the audiobook version, myself and… someone else I can’t remember. (This was always a little bit odd to me, but the one behind it was really eager for it to happen. Sadly, I don’t know the final fate of the signed picture).

It wasn’t long before our first panel! But not before Albi and I did a selfie.

Panel #1: Writer’s Block

This was the panel I looked forward to the most. In fact, it was this panel last year that made me decide to come back and be a part of the Writer’s Track. This particular panel was Albi, myself and Cryptastic (AKA Fairy Tail).

We talked a little bit about the difference between Discovery Writing Vs. Outline Writing and the pros and cons of both. We talked about good habits (such as reading what you just wrote before hand) and I do remember going over my list of topics for Writer's Block 2017.

I’ll give you a quick breakdown (yes, I actually pulled up my blogpost and used that to spark conversations). And I’ll make it easy by just quoting what I said last year!

Well, the first major step to defeating writer’s block is to never get into it in the first place! You want to prevent writer’s block. And here’s some tips on how.

1. Never stop writing for the day at the end of a chapter. Or at the end of a section. Or the end of a paragraph. Or the end of a sentence. I often end in the middle of a word! Why? Because you’ll always have something to write the next day, even if it’s just finishing that one word.
2. Turn off the internet. Put Google Docs into Offline mode. Stay off Wikipedia. For the love of Celestia, turn off Skype and Discord! They murder productivity.
3. Don’t let yourself watch TV or play video games until your daily writing goal is done. It’s always harder to get into that brainspace of writing after doing that sort of thing (at least, it is for me). You’ll also use the classic “reward” system and your games will actually feel a lot more fulfilling since you know you’ve accomplished your goal for the day.
4. Write every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 words, 1,000 words or even 10 words, write something. Every day you miss it becomes progressively harder to find that spot you were at before.
5. Read the section/chapter/scene over again before you start to write. Don’t try and just pick up exactly where you left off. By re-reading the scene (and don’t get stuck in editing; minor corrections and additions are fine, but wordsmithing and restructuring aren’t), you’ll often put yourself back into the space you were when you last wrote, giving you the chance to just flow right in.
6. If possible, write at the same time and same place every day (use the same hardware if possible, too). I know this isn’t practical for a lot of people, but every day on lunch, I shut off my desk computer at work, pull up my laptop, turn on white noise and just focus down for an hour. I don’t let myself do anything else. I race the clock to see how many words I can get done.


Now, sometimes, writer’s block is unavoidable. I want to touch on one major point and then bring up a few other points that brought up during the panel.

Let yourself write crap.

Writer’s block is often caused by your inner editor telling you that the words you’re ready to write aren’t good enough. That inner editor is a jerk. He’s only allowed out of his cage at the editing phase and you’re not there! Tie him up, stuff a sock in his mouth and throw him back in that closet. Now, he ain’t gonna stay there (and you don’t actually want him to), but you need to give yourself permission to write terrible words. You have to work through it to find the good stuff on the other side. Terry Pratchett said “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” So, tell the story. Worry about the quality later.

Losing a Character’s Voice

Losing a character’s voice can be caused by a lot of different things. I think one of the most common ways is that you aren’t writing the character consistently. You’re actually writing in a great medium for this. I go by a rule: “I’m doing it right if I can hear it in the voice of the character’s VA.” Sometimes, you’ll need to take a step back, go watch a few Rarity episodes and make sure you get her speech patterns down.

If you’re good at characters, they’ll start to protest when you put them in situations and have them act counter to what they would normally act. It’ll become progressively harder to write. That means it’s time for you to change what you’re doing. The other side is that you’ll just end up directionless and it’s often caused by the same problem.

As a discovery writer, I often come to points where characters go “okay, your idea sucks, we’re going to go off and do our own thing.” If this happens, let it happen. Check it out. See where they’re going. Maybe your characters had way too many hard ciders before showing up to work today and are totally off-base, but more often than not, they know what they’re doing. Learn to trust your instincts.

Now, there are so many other things. And one of these days, I’m going to explore this topic at length. But right now, I think that covers the main stuff. But the key I left everyone with was this:

Find what works for you.

I think those were all the really key points. Yeah, a lot of the techniques we talked about were the same, but that’s the thing… they’re still good topics!

The key thing is (even I can’t remember), I know I did often ask Cryptastic and Albi how they dealt with things. Apparently, Cryptastic and I write very similarly, which is why I was glad Albi was there, since he’s an outliner.

I also may have picked on Mono in the audience a little bit (at least according to Loofa). But that’s nothing new. :twilightsmile:

Panel #2: Writing Into the Sunset

This panel was Oroboro’s concept! Here was his original plan:

EQG in general
High school AU in general
What makes writing in EQG different
Context
Character
Genre
Sunset is awesome

We mostly talked about how awesome Sunset is.

Left to Right: Oroboro, The Albinocorn, Myself & Piquo Pie
Picture Courtesy of Corejo

...okay, no we didn’t. We were better than that (sorta). One of the biggest topics we talked about was how we could take the characters we know and love and breathe new life into them through the EqG universe.

I remember pitching the concept of My Kind of Crazy, specifically, the origin and idea of Skystar in the universe. In this case, it’s how to get a similar character archetype with a radically different origin story (IE, moving around all the time instead of hiding in one spot basically gives the same result of a very lonely Skystar). Plus the fact that Crazy could not have happened in Equestria.

Oroboro talked about the idea that EqG is essentially a canon High School AU. That’s normally how it’s used in other fandoms, yet it had a bit of a unique spin in EqG. Sadly, he didn’t get a chance to talk about how the new superpowers opened up whole new genres.

I had to play moderator a bit for that panel since we got off track a few times. It was sorta hard to do, but I think the end result was worth it! I hope you did too!


Left to Right: Oroboro, The Albinocorn and myself!

Con Wanderings!

...I don’t actually remember much of what happened next. I know Albi, Oro and I answered a lot of questions after the panel. We also chatted up a new author (who I can’t remember the name of) in the hallway for a good twenty minutes or so, giving tips and tricks, where to get ideas, how to put them into practice and other good concepts.

According to Oro, we went downstairs to eat somewhere, probably at the rather expensive cafe in the hotel. I then got this information confirmed by BlazzingInferno and Epic Yarn, since they joined us!

I actually only have one picture from the intervening time between the Writing Into the Sunset Panel and The Shipping Express Panel!

I found her a few places at the con, actually. It was kinda funny. I’m pretty sure I did some shopping, wandered the vendor hall… and… well… frankly, I have no idea.

I do know that Mono, Oroboro, Albi and several others did the All Aboard the Feels Train, which I decided to skip (because I had already overcommitted). Ironically, I couldn’t actually get in (and even MORE ironically, it was Ebon and Heartshine who wouldn’t let me in because of capacity reasons!). It was too bad, because it would have been nice to be there and see these experts handle it, but oh well.

Instead, I just hung out with Ebon and Heart until time for the next big panel!

I did get a chance to speak with Georg before the next one though, and that was really cool. I first told him how much I loved his seaponies, and had to ask him about “Why Twi was interested” in the Traveling Tutor series… and that’s when I learned he’d married Twilight Sparkle.

I hesitated, of course. But then he showed me pictures of her taking pictures of moss patterns on Cascade Trees. Studying pond series. I believe she has multiple Phds. In other words, he’s uniquely qualified to talk about what would interest Twilight Sparkle romantically.

Needless to say, I believe him!

Panel #3: The Shipping Express


The smartalec in the foreground is actually Oroboro’s brother and primary editor!


The other half of the Shipping Express room!

Note: Special thanks to the Archivists, Oroboro, Bookish Delight & Heartshine in helping me remember all the stuff we talked about during this panel!

This panel had Mono, Albi, Oroboro, Titanium Dragon on it. Grand Moff Pony was there, too, but he sort of supervised.

We had a little bit of a rough start for this panel. Our original moderator couldn’t make it, so I had to make do… only to kinda realize that shipping in general is a huge topic and I didn’t know where to begin!

Thankfully, Oroboro fed me a few lines after the basic introductions and we finally got things running!

We talked a little about our shipping experience. Albi spoke on Long Road to Friendship, that the romance in there was really a vehicle to explore Sunset’s character rather than something that was definitely planned from the start.

Mono talked a bit about the idea that any ship can actually work if it’s well written enough and in that vein, I decided to ask what was an uncommon ship the various panelists like. I decided to jump on the first hand grenade by giving my secret straight ship for Sunset: ShiningShimmer/SunsetArmor (IE Sunset and Shining Armor).

...unfortunately, I made it hard and told people they had to given a reason why! I think I gave the idea that both of them are strong characters who don’t back down. I could see them butting heads a lot, but always finding a way to be strong together.

...then Titanium Dragon did something cough interesting…

He picked RariLestia, which happens to be one of Mono’s favorite side ships. The best part of this (and forgive me TD) is he put Rarity in a rather… harsh light. The term “social climber” came up. And I felt the entire room stare at Mono, with a few gasps. I didn’t dare look at her, but I could feel her aura darken to blackest night.

I remember actually interrupting him briefly to warn him he was walking through a minefield. I may have even jumped on the hand grenade by talking before Mono got a chance. Heh.

In case you’re wondering, Mono’s heard this before. Actually, she heard it at BronyCon. She even did a full blog about it. I strongly recommend reading it.

Anyway, I will say that Mono took this challenge and pounded out an amazing RariTwi story called “Social Climber” that was aimed squarely at Titanium Dragon… and it was so good, it got his honorable mention! So serious kudos to both of them for that.

Oroboro brought up a great point about something called “Alien Shipping Syndrome,” where the characters act completely out-of-character while “in love.” It’s something we all stressed not to do. These are still our characters after all, and we need to keep to the spirit of them!

I know I also mentioned something I learned from Writing Excuses that you’re trying to get the reader to fall in love with the love interest as much as the main character is. You need to sell both on the potential of the romance.

We also talked a lot about the inherent differences between the “get-together” fic and the “after-the-fact” fic. Oroboro had a lot to say on that topic, since he’s planning another round of the Sunset Shipping Project, this time doing all “after-the-fact” fics with each couple. I think I gave some examples from Spectrum of Gray.

That led into romantic experience, when I asked folks what did they prefer writing. It was a mixed bag with everyone doing different answers, since all of us had written longer stories where we’ve seen progression over the course of the story.

This was also bolstered by a question from the audience asking about how to write when you have “the experience of a high schooler.” I gave a couple examples here, since it’s something I see a great deal. I mentioned that I’d been married for 13 years, so I have a very specific view on romance. I then guestered to Hap in the audience, who’d also been married for 13 years and told everyone that his experience is going to be totally different. Georg spoke up then, mentioning he’d been married for 34 years (and his wife was currently taking pictures of Mount Rainier!). He got a big round of applause for that one!

Then came what was probably the best question of the night.

A girl with a Twilight-like hairstyle raised her hand, super-eager to get a question out. I kinda remember her looking right at me for some reason, but like I said, things are fuzzy. She asked “How do you write about what you don’t know? Poly when you’re monogamous, or bi, gay, trans or ace?”

I’m really happy someone asked that question. It’s definitely a major thing! I remember TD saying something (and I checked his blog, sadly he didn’t have it on there).

Mono and I tag-teamed the question and I have to say, I think we nailed it!

Our key points were that first of all, you need to do your homework. Mono talked about the research she did for The Choices We Make. She did, telling everyone how she talked to people who worked on suicide hotlines, did research online for it and even went to speak with someone who had once called one of those lines.

I echoed a lot of her thoughts, about doing that same sort of research for every story to make sure you’re giving people the right feeling for these kinds of relationships. We also talked a bit about how you need to be open to feedback on this, because it’s something that hits people hard.

Oroboro also mentioned the fantastic panel on Sunday about writing across genders. Sadly, I didn’t get to attend that myself because I was at my EqD panel, but I’ve heard fantastic things! Oroboro also talked about the primary job of the writer being empathy and being able to explore a perspective other than your own.

I remember talking briefly about the idea of human stigmas being carried into Equestria. Some authors like doing this, because they want their story to act as a social commentary, at least in part. I personally like to think ponies are a bit more evolved than us in that realm.

However, I do remember very clearly what the last thing I said was:

“Above all else, be respectful.

Frankly, the entire team did a kickass job there! I know I’m forgetting a bunch of things. Albi said a few things I can’t recall. TD had more to say, too. I’m sorry folks, but I’m already collabing this as much as I can!

Damn. I wish we’d recorded these! It was a great session.


Oroboro (Foreground) and Albi (Background)


Monochromatic (Foreground), Titanium Dragon (Middle), Grand Moff Pony (Obscured, Background)

The Afterpanel

I vaguely remember chatting with TD about his philosophies on synopses, covers and the best way to get views. They were a side of storytelling I’d honestly never seen before, so it was quite the eye-opener!

I’m pretty sure that’s when I met Bookish Delight for the first time. And that’s when I got to rant at him for One Mare’s Worth and yell at him for the lack of a sad tag and how my author and reader side couldn’t agree on what to do with him.

I’ll admit, I actually interrogated him to know if I could trust him to read any of his other stories. I asked if I could trust his tags. He waffled, but I found out that’s because sometimes he doesn’t put romance there, but the other types of tags (like sad) are almost always there.

....he also finally admitted that the reason the sad tag isn’t on One Mare’s Worth is strictly on a technicality.

So, I decided to (mostly) forgive him for doing such horrible damage to my heart and poor Moon Dancer. I even dragged him along for our second Writer’s Dinner at Sharps!

Another Writer’s Dinner!

We had a little bit of a smaller group this time around… and it’s all a little bit fuzzy again. I think we split into two groups that turned into the Jurists & the Writers.

I know Heartshine and Ebon were there and I’m pretty sure Corejo and Titanium Dragon joined us, too. So did Albi! I remember talking at length to Bookish about all manner of things from Overwatch to old-school gaming to writing techniques to a bunch of other things (plus a few secret identities) and the concepts of #horsefame. I think I got to do my normal spiel on why I write:

“I write because I excited about my characters, love my stories, think my settings are awesome, and I really want to share them with others so they can enjoy them as much as me!”

I vaguely remember Ebon pitching his “Avoided Jury Duty” hoodie for the people who don’t read LongSkirtsFic. People seem amused by that, but I suspect the actual new Jurist hoodie will do better. :raritywink:

Heart and I also had a long chat that revealed a few things I didn’t know were happening at the con. It helped shine a light on some moments. But the best part was just being there! I don’t remember if… hrmm… I think Blazzing and Epic Yarn joined us for that time. I know I had some long chats with Titanium Dragon, too.

Seriously, my memory is so spotty after that panel.

Friday Night Hangouts!

I think most of us went up to the Writer’s Hangout. Honestly, I’m drawing a total blank here. Ebon stayed at the Writer’s Hangout until midnight (that’s when it closed). I think I stayed until then and I have some pictures of someone trying to put a laptop case on RedSquirrel’s head.

According to Oroboro, I was sitting near the front, talking to a bunch of people. He’d was trying to be productive and write (showoff). I think I may have met Sun Sage at that time and probably a few others I can’t remember. I may have talked about SLS2 a bit.

I ended up having to search my Discord backlog! I got my hardcover copy of Fractured Sunlight from Oroboro (I’m very proud to have one of the first three ever made and it’s using the cover modifications I designed!). One was for me, the second for himself and the third for Albi!

He eventually ran off to the Ponystock rave party.

I vaguely remember hanging out with Swan, Autumn, Jyki and Mono a little. Maybe?

...seriously, if anyone remembers what happened Friday night, tell me. The last pictures I have are of the Con Staff Room, a random pony thing by an elevator and my own bag back in my room!

...I got nothin’ folks. Not a clue. Crashed around 1ish? Maybe.

Dammit, I can’t even blame this on getting drunk! So not fair!

That's it for Day 1! I'll see you folks tomorrow for Day 2 - Saturday and the biggest day of all!

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Comments ( 21 )

The dinner Friday night was a lot of fun, as were the panels.

As a point of reference, the concept of Alien Shipping Syndrome originates with a blogpost by Chuck Finly, along with an excellent followup by Bookplayer. Both of these blogs are fantastic, and go into the concept more in depth than I was able to cover during the panel.

We met briefly in the morning, after the Sunset panel ended. But yeah that night too, I was at the writer's hangout for a bit. I didn't stay long. Heh, folks have mentioned Impostor Syndrome a few times. Imagine how it is for someone who's written way less than those big names. I felt very out of place and left early. The next couple nights were better but yeah. Heh, I've tried blogging about this and I keep deleting it. I won't be doing a big retrospective like this... just a particular rumination on the shackles of one's own angry little pony. ...And now that I've said that here I'll actually write it. Sorry to use this space like that.

More importantly, props to Jyki... because yeah having also met him there (and briefly last year at BC), can confirm: great person.

Last but not least: props to you, Novel. Not just for all the work at EF... but on spending more time writing the retrospective than you did making all those memories that are so hard to later articulate. So much of it is an almost ineffable experience. Looking forward to your take on Saturday.

I am bummed I missed the shipping panel but I just couldn't have made it. I had to go eat, i was nearing a diabetic crash and no one wants a big earth pony falling over on the floor making a scene :rainbowlaugh:

We mostly talked about how awesome Sunset is.

Don't be fooled, gentle viewers--this is exactly what happened. :trollestia: Though the audience ate it up like crazy and asked for more, so I can't entirely blame you.

(Still worlds better than the other EQG panel. I've never ducked back out of something so fast after arriving to it. :rainbowderp:)

I remember the meal with you guys later in the day, but I could totally be wrong. Everything blurs together.

So, something funny I remember about the meal. There was a discussion going on about which ships work/don’t work. As I recall, Rarity/Applejack works great as a fling, but not a long term deal. A minute or two later, I look over and see a Rarity cosplayer waiting to be seated. Her dress was drop dead gorgeous so I complimenting it and we started talking. Now, I’m certain she didn’t hear our conversation (she was too far away and the conversation had moved on to Sunset), but she started telling me her mom was basically Rarity (loves fashion, very prim and proper). And her dad? Applejack (grew up on a farm, totally country, wore a Stetson everywhere). They had been married close to forty years.

4870539
Yay! Enjoyment was had!

4870547
Seconded. They are great blogs!

4870566

Heh, folks have mentioned Impostor Syndrome a few times.

How do you think I feel? I'm surrounded by authors with massive followings and devoted fans!?

Last but not least: props to you, Novel. Not just for all the work at EF... but on spending more time writing the retrospective than you did making all those memories that are so hard to later articulate. So much of it is an almost ineffable experience. Looking forward to your take on Saturday.

Thank you, but I could have never done it without everyone's help!!

4870651

Don't be fooled, gentle viewers--this is exactly what happened.:trollestia:Though the audience ate it up like crazy and asked for more, so I can't entirely blame you.

Yeah, we're flawed. We all knew how it would turn out.

(Still worlds better than the other EQG panel. I've never ducked back out of something so fast after arriving to it.:rainbowderp:)

...wasn't that the OFFICIAL one, though? Like with story writers and directors and stuff?

4870723

Now, I’m certain she didn’t hear our conversation (she was too far away and the conversation had moved on to Sunset), but she started telling me her mom was basically Rarity (loves fashion, very prim and proper). And her dad? Applejack (grew up on a farm, totally country, wore a Stetson everywhere). They had been married close to forty years.

...that is so freaking awesome. I love it. I love it I love it I love it! I kinda want their full story now! More to prove to Tchernobog (the most fanatical AppleDasher in the fandom) that it CAN WORK! If you remember her name, please tell her to write a fan fic, I've been dying to find one where we see the two work long-term! :pinkiehappy:

4870867

Oh, it's all good, it just means I have a get out of jail free card for when I turn next year into the Science Montage hour. :3

There was this other EQG panel that was late Saturday afternoon hosted by two people who were unnamed on the program. I mean, if official writers and directors showed up for it, i wouldn't know given how little time it took for me to tap out, but it... didn't seem the type.

4870863

How do you think I feel? I'm surrounded by authors with massive followings and devoted fans!?

:facehoof: One of those is a mirror. And not that mirror, the regular kind. And I wrote that blog. Nothing like actually stating you'll do something to make yourself do it. I will do that NaNoWriMo writing thing... whose name I may have mangled! ...It will be done.

4870871
Oh! That must have been the "Then and Now" one. Yeah, that was a submitted panel, I think, so came from outside the con itself.

4870873
There were no mirrors! LIES!

4870868
I've never said that a couple like that can never work ever. However, I maintain that the particular case of An and Rarity is one of those that don't work long term :P

4871953
You also said that you're so biased at this point, you can't actually enjoy one anymore. :P

...then Titanium Dragon did something cough interesting…

He picked RariLestia, which happens to be one of Mono’s favorite side ships. The best part of this (and forgive me TD) is he put Rarity in a rather… harsh light. The term “social climber” came up. And I felt the entire room stare at Mono, with a few gasps. I didn’t dare look at her, but I could feel her aura darken to blackest night.

Rarity is, of course, my favorite pony, so I have to be terrible to her :V

Plus, I was hoping people would have Opinions about Celerity, because, well, part of the point of panels like that is to spark discussions, so having the people up there debate about stuff and delve into characters works well.

Getting "oohs" from the crowd means I did my job. :trollestia:

Anyway, I will say that Mono took this challenge and pounded out an amazing RariTwi story called “Social Climber” that was aimed squarely at Titanium Dragon… and it was so good, it got his honorable mention! So serious kudos to both of them for that.

While I joked about it being aimed at me, I think it was more that the discussion sparked the idea for it. I actually really like the idea of Rarity having to deal with the whole "social climber" thing when dating either Twilight or Celestia, because Rarity is a social climber (heck, social climbing was pretty much the theme of Sweet and Elite, and she's shown a number of signs of it in other episodes), and I think exploring her nature as a social climber (and why it isn't actually a bad thing, but is complicated) is interesting. Stuff like The Wrong Fork casts her character in an interesting light, and I think her nature as a social climber can create some interesting conflicts, as well as mixed views on her - to Rarity's friends, she's a polite, well-mannered pony who fits right into upper-class society. But to upper-class society, Rarity is an upstart who has sort of made her way in there, and while some people appreciate her for what she is, others don't like it one bit (and people who haven't climbed so high, so fast have reason to be jealous of her). And I think that her social climber status can create a lot of interesting character moments and conflicts for her in any ship she's in - with Twilight, Celestia, or Luna, it can lead to people attacking Rarity, and possibly to some worries from her partners. Meanwhile, with someone like Pinkie Pie or Applejack, the fact that her partner really doesn't fit into the upper end of society can create interesting conflicts, as well as force her to stick up for her partner, who aren't really a part of such things. Fluttershy's wallflower status (as well as her brief career as a model, and generally stunning and polite nature) can create interesting conflicts when Rarity is around all these important, noisy, nosy ponies who all are quite full of themselves or are otherwise larger than life. And of course, Rainbow Dash herself is a celebrity in her own right as a Wonderbolt, and approaches the high end of society from a different perspective than Rarity.

I really like that aspect of her character, and it is one of many things about her that is interesting, as she is often networking, but she isn't evil about it, nor does she just leave her friends behind.

“How do you write about what you don’t know? Poly when you’re monogamous, or bi, gay, trans or ace?”

I don't really remember what I said in response to this, but really, one major way I've learned about this stuff is just by reading good stories about it. It's surprisingly effective as a method, as long as you actually read good stories :V

Honestly, a lot of stories aren't even really going to focus on that aspect of things, though, and there are probably some pretty big cultural differences between Equestria and the real world. Being gay or bi IRL is vastly different if you live in a society where it is normal than if you live in one where it isn't. As such, a lot of stuff just isn't going to map over, because it doesn't even map over IRL. I've seen stories where the big thing that some ponies had problems with was cross-type pairings - like a pegasus with a unicorn, for instance, mattered, whereas lesbians was just, you know, whatever.

It really depends on what kind of story you want to write; it is pretty easy to ignore a lot of potential cultural overtones when writing a same-sex shipfic in Equestria, but there are some things (like uncertainty about their interest in a member of the same sex, or not being able to have kids with each other) which do translate over regardless of society.

...seriously, if anyone remembers what happened Friday night, tell me. The last pictures I have are of the Con Staff Room, a random pony thing by an elevator and my own bag back in my room!

I really don't remember what we talked about in particular either, I just remember enjoying our discussions.

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Plus, I was hoping people would have Opinions about Celerity, because, well, part of the point of panels like that is to spark discussions, so having the people up there debate about stuff and delve into characters works well.

Getting "oohs" from the crowd means I did my job.:trollestia:

You're totally TERRIBLE! :rainbowlaugh: You sparked a discussion and THEN SOME!

While I joked about it being aimed at me, I think it was more that the discussion sparked the idea for it.

Fair game! I can definitely see it that way. As for the social climber thing, well, I'm sure you've read Mono's post about Mexcian society and how it relates to Rarity's character, so I see Rarity in a very different light. (Though I should note she never really grabbed my attention before I met Mono!).

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Fair game! I can definitely see it that way. As for the social climber thing, well, I'm sure you've read Mono's post about Mexcian society and how it relates to Rarity's character, so I see Rarity in a very different light. (Though I should note she never really grabbed my attention before I met Mono!).

Well, I mean, she's totally a social climber. It isn't really a bad thing, as I noted, even though "social climber" often has negative connotations (particularly likely in Mexico, where it is "suck up to people who are of a higher social class than you are", whereas in the US, we have more of a context of "being a self-made man").

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