• Member Since 30th May, 2018
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Wings of Black Glass

The worst fanfic ever written is still better than the greatest story never told.

More Blog Posts30

  • 108 weeks
    Pony Wars

    So that Pony Wars project that I’m posting the character backstories for: That’s a project trying to make a new setting for people to create stuff for. While I was initially brought in to help with some of the worldbuilding, I’ve since turned into the lead author for it. (right now the *only* author for it, but that’s another issue) Dratta Arcana is the project lead, and he wants people to

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    0 comments · 134 views
  • 125 weeks
    I still exist.

    I’m still here.
    I’ve just had nothing to say.

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    0 comments · 109 views
  • 144 weeks
    Out of time

    I have something of a confession to make.

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    2 comments · 121 views
  • 152 weeks
    Mask of Despair and EQD

    A couple months ago, I submitted The Mask of Despair to EQD. Rejected, obviously. At the very least, they gave me some notes on it. More notes than all the other comments and messages combined. On that note: why did no one tell me it was such a mess? It’s got random capitalizations, missing words, and

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    2 comments · 143 views
  • 154 weeks
    My first Shipfic

    So yesterday I wrote my first Shipfic, and it’s doing alright. 60+ views, 8 upvotes, a dozen-or-so favorites. (Nothing I’ve done can come close to competing with The Alicorn Limit, though.) I had wanted to get it done for Hearts & Hooves day,

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    0 comments · 127 views

Some thoughts regarding the process of writing and posting "The Mask of Despair and the Face of Hope" · 9:08pm Jun 8th, 2018

So, I’ve learned a few things from doing this the way I did. First and foremost, don’t change POV and tense mid-write. When I began this project, I was working in third person point of view, and present tense. About 40% of the way through it I came upon the idea of the framing device of starting the story right as Twilight resolved the crisis. (hence: “We Begin at the End” and “We End at the Beginning”) However, this necessitated a shift in writing style into first person past tense. Which would be fine… but I made the mistake of continuing in my previous POV-Tense all the way to the end. So once I was done, I had to go back through and fix it all. Needless to say, I missed some moments where my tense or my POV was still in the previous version. Including a particularly humiliating moment in the sixth paragraph of the first scene. I am sure this early mistake cost me more than few readers. C’est la vie.

Fortunately, I have a friend who is reading through it and finding all/most of these for me. Even after writing it, then re-writing it, reading through it looking for these mistakes, and then reading it once for fun, I still missed over a dozen.

The next thing I discovered is that new stories exist on the front page for little more than a day or so. So my second mistake was to upload the entire thing all at once. As I am new to the site (as of the time of this writing) I had no followers or groups who might see what I had done. The smarter thing to have done would have been to upload part 1, and then each week upload the next part, keeping it up in the recently updated section long enough for people to get curious about it. Gaming the system a bit? Probably.

On a related note, my manner of uploading. Part 1: Unique Destiny, is some 14k words long (give or take) but the first few “chapters” I posted are all much shorter, in the 1k-2k word range. This is because, for some reason, I wanted to divide each section up into manageable chunks. My mistake here was not recognizing that this makes it look like 55 really short chapters rather than the 9 more sizable parts I intended. Which… well, there’s a quote from “Friendship is witchcraft” I thought about when I noticed it.

“And then in chapter 74 Applesack and Charity have the shotgun wedding.” (I may have misquoted that) (and this doesn’t happen in my story) (For those who are unaware of that parody, it portrays Twilight as someone who writes really bad fanfiction.)

And I promptly facepalmed. I had honestly been trying to avoid this kind of crap and managed to stumble right into it. I will not be making this mistake again. From here on my uploaded chapters will be whole parts or full chapters, not individual scenes. (As of the time of this writing I am also considering re-uploading the various components as single chapters of the appropriate length.)

As I mentioned above, I hadn’t thought up the framing device until I was a considerable way into the text. I had no idea how I was going to end the story, but once I realized I could have the bad guy essentially win and then undo it all with time travel it all socketed nicely into place. (Especially because the time travel spell itself is essential to the plot in the first place) This also meant I could keep the story within canon (more or less, I took some small liberties regarding the name for “Pinewood Village” and the security of Tartarus, as well as a few minor details that probably don’t matter) This might be a strange thing to say, considering it’s all fanfiction, so why would it have to fit within canon? I don’t have a good answer for that, other than because it’s something I wanted to do.

That said, I enjoyed writing the framing device itself immensely. I mean, yes, it’s only about four or five lines of dialog per scene. But still, writing a moment with just what people are saying to portray emotions or communicate who is speaking is something of a challenge, especially with up to 8 possible characters who could be talking. No “he said” or, “she said” or anything like that. It was fun, although I don’t think I would write a whole story that way.

Looking back on it now, my favorite scene is “The Curse of Despair.” Followed by the first “Evening with Twilight” and then probably the “Midnight Eavesdropping” moment. The fight scenes were fun to write, but I really think my best writing was in those quiet moment where they were just talking.

Much of what caused me to write this at all were a few specific scenes I just wanted to have, such as the moment where they discover the main character is a blank-flank and he kicks them out, or the instant he touches the crystal heart and gets tossed across the courtyard. There were a few others which were scenes I just really wanted to write.

The other reason I did this is because I wanted to explore the psychology of a grown pony without a cutie-mark. The show has gone over cutie-mark stuff a lot, mostly focusing on finding and understanding it as a child. But it never brought up the topic of failure (specifically the failure to find one) You could make an argument that they did, with Fluttershy’s brother, but I disagree. He was not a failure, he was just afraid of it. (there is a mountain of difference there.) I understand why they shy away from the topic, because “optimism” and “sending supportive messages,” but we all know it’s never that simple.

True, I sort of wandered away from that original intent while writing it. The moment which set the plot in motion (which we never actually see) where Sable creates the memory curse on his hometown was initially supposed to have a different motivation behind it, but I realized that it didn’t make sense in the MLP world. In real life, a traumatic event can focus a person, make it clear to them what they need to do, and he was trying to force that event. But I don’t think cutie-marks would respond to that, so I had to change up his reasoning a bit to something which made more sense in the MLP world. (We have yet to see a “bad thing” happen to a blank flank, and they get a mark related to that “bad thing.” Marks have been universally “good things” with the possible exception of that unlucky guy who ended up joining the rodeo as a clown)

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