News Archive

  • Friday
    Cerulean Voice's "Essenza di Amore" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    [Ed. Note: The Royal Canterlot Library will be taking next week off for Bronycon!]

    You'll grow to love today's story.


    Essenza di Amore
    [Adventure] [Drama] [Alternate Universe] • 53,665 words

    Orphaned as a filly, a young pegasus named Kaviyayu is raised by an adoptive Earth pony family in a secluded, peaceful village. When a strange unicorn drops by the village, Kaviyayu and the other foals are captivated by her tales of the world, as well as her various spells and illusions for their amusement. But there's something about the way she doesn't speak of her own family ... how she never removes her traveller's cloak ... how she seems to take a very strong interest in Kaviyayu ...

    Who is this mysterious mare, what does she seek, and just what is so special about that pendant she wears?

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    8 comments · 520 views
  • 1 week
    NaiadSagaIotaOar's "Who We Are in the Dark" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story, unlike its protagonist, doesn't have to cheat to win your heart.


    Who We Are in the Dark
    [Equestria Girls] [Romance] [Tragedy] • 11,505 words

    [Note: This story contains sexual themes.]

    Adagio, who everyone knows is an immortal sex goddess, is determined to give her girlfriend a perfect eighteenth birthday. If only she weren't secretly a virgin, it would be easy.

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    16 comments · 1,353 views
  • 3 weeks
    Chris' "Wyrmlysan" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    As the Royal Canterlot Library says farewell to Chris, we welcome RBDash47, creator of the original Pony Fiction Vault, to our fold!

    You're destined to like tonight's story.


    Wyrmlysan
    [Tragedy] • 3,322 words

    Prophecy is a dangerous game; meanings which are obvious can become obscure in an instant, and fates are laid bare only in hindsight.

    After the fall of Discord but before the rise of Nightmare Moon, a dragon breaks the peace between its race and ponykind, and Princess Luna flies to mete out justice.

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    8 comments · 1,583 views
  • 4 weeks
    Einhander's "Royals" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is a rarity: a rich romance between an unexpected pair.


    Royals
    [Romance] [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 14,210 words

    Rarity always wanted to be Lady Rarity. Over time, it became more clear it was not meant to be. But she's fine, she's got a successful business in Ponyville, her fashion line showing in Manehattan and she has her friends, even if most of them are moving on with their lives. A prince sweeping her off her hooves was just not meant to be.

    So how in Equestria did she end up on a date with the richest pony in town?

    Confusion, feelings and wine mix for a potentially explosive, heartwarming (or rending?) evening, along with a pinch of generosity.

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    4 comments · 1,789 views
  • 5 weeks
    brokenimage321's "Celestia XVII" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    The crowning achievement of today's story is a look at some royal growing pains.


    Celestia XVII
    [Drama] [Slice of Life] [Alternate Universe] • 56,413 words

    Being seventeen is hard — especially if you happen to be a Princess.

    I'm Princess Celestia, but everyone calls me Cece. My life has been crazier than normal lately — my big brother Blueblood is a selfish jerk, my best friend Twilight just moved away to Ponyville, and, oh yeah — Nightmare Moon turned out to be my long-lost somethingth-Great Aunt, Princess Luna. No biggie.

    But, no matter how my life is going, I'm still Princess. I've gotta keep it together. Somehow. I can make it at least until the Grand Galloping Gala in a month-and-a-half ... right?

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    8 comments · 2,932 views
  • 6 weeks
    Metool Bard's "The Truth Hurts" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    With today's story, idol hooves are the devil's workshop.


    The Truth Hurts
    [Dark] [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 4,914 words

    Lightning Dust has been in a bit of a rut ever since getting kicked out of the Wonderbolt Academy. Day after day, she's been sticking to a strict exercise regimen under the guidance of Cloudsdale's premier personal trainer, Haymaker. Her hope is that she'll unlock her true potential and show Haymaker how awesome she is, thus prompting him to use his connections to get her back into the Wonderbolts. No matter how many times Haymaker tells her it's impossible, Lightning simply refuses to listen.

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    11 comments · 2,005 views
  • 7 weeks
    Phaoray's "Complex Apartments" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story drives home the difficulties of odd roommate choices.


    Complex Apartments
    [Equestria Girls] [Drama] [Romance] [Sad] • 9,829 words

    Choosing an apartment to live in is important and requires good planning. Location, needs, cost, a lot must be taken into account when looking.

    One girl looks to her animals and peace, hoping to have a quiet, fun time with her friends as she goes through high school. For her, the apartment is cheap, comfortable, allows pets, and is close to school. Perfect!

    The other is looking to take over a high school, enslave everyone inside, and bring war to another dimension all in the name of proving her mentor wrong. A small, cheap apartment near the school to plan in is all she needs.

    Fluttershy really should have met the neighbors before signing her lease...

    Read More

    4 comments · 2,117 views
  • 8 weeks
    Minds Eye's "Extra Sprinkles" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Donut skip today's story.


    Extra Sprinkles
    [Slice of Life] • 2,801 words

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    4 comments · 1,800 views
  • 9 weeks
    AdmiralTigerclaw's "Arrow 18 Mission Logs: Lone Ranger" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story arrives from the past to look at the future.


    Arrow 18 Mission Logs: Lone Ranger
    [Adventure] [Sci-Fi] [Human] • 66,605 words

    The star system Omega Centauri was just another oddity on a map to scientists in the not too distant future. However when they found the star was orbiting an earth-sized, earth-like planet instead of a black hole as its motion had suggested, a mission was scrambled to investigate this most unusual of celestial behaviors.

    Hamstrung by politics, and nearly crippled before it began, the 'Lone Ranger' mission was reduced to just one crew member and left to his own devices.

    These are the logs of Arrow 18 and its lone commander. This information is classified TOP SECRET by the Global Space Agency.

    Do NOT tell the princess.

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    35 comments · 2,675 views
  • 10 weeks
    Cyrano's "Suns and Roses" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Put your hands in the air for today's story.


    Suns and Roses
    [Equestria Girls] [Romance] [Dark] [Tragedy] [Alternate Universe] • 10,907 words

    The Crystal Mirror brought Sunset Shimmer not to the steps of Canterlot High, but to another world all together. She meets Roseluck, a prisoner in her own home trapped beneath the authoritarian rule of her father, and the two embark on a journey of love and bank robbing as they search for somewhere they can truly be free.

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    8 comments · 1,308 views
Jul
6th
2018

Author Interview » Mr V's "Sweet Little Lovely: A Gothic Romance" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 1:29pm July 6th

Today's story ticks along to a sweetly chilling conclusion.


Sweet Little Lovely: A Gothic Romance
[Romance] [Dark] • 14,993 words

[Note: This story contains scenes of blood and gore.]

Everyone in their sleepy little town knows that Marvelous, the clockmaker, has eyes for only one mare - the beautiful Little Lovely. Despite her mysterious illness and his amusingly obsessive nature, there's no question that they make a perfect couple.

But when the truth of Little Lovely's affliction comes to light, Marvelous begins to realize that her true beauty is ... on the inside.

FROM THE CURATORS: This week's feature makes no bones about its heritage; right in the subtitle, it's clear what you're going to get. As Soge said in his nomination, it's "a really lovely romance story, with genuinely touching moments, interesting characters, and an effective, just-florid-enough writing style that is clearly inspired by 1800s Gothic novels." Horizon agreed: "The voicing in this is a marvelous style imitation, and the Gothic parts are a compelling enough character drama on their own that in several stretches I forgot I was reading a horror story."

That being said, astute readers might note the lack of a Horror tag on the story itself, and this may not just be because the story predates the Horror tag—whether or not this was actually a horror story was a matter of some debate among the curators. Present Perfect thought it was an excellent one: "This is a great horror story, full stop, just completely unsettling." AugieDog had a different perspective; he doesn't read horror stories, because "they're too scary. This story, though, I didn't find scary at all."

Something all the curators could agree on was "Sweet Little Lovely" managing to require a Gore tag and yet remain almost... wholesome. "The one scene that actually earns that Gore tag is so beautiful and fascinating," Soge said. Horizon reassures anyone with a weak stomach that "it's quite possibly one of the most beautiful stories with a Gore tag, and even as a somewhat squeamish person I finished the story over lunch."

Speaking more broadly, FanOfMostEverything appreciated "that this story's protagonist is a clockmaker, because this is some beautifully and meticulously assembled prose." A few curators commented that the setting teeters on the edge of believability within the world of Equestria, but as AugieDog put it, "I'd call it a very Pony story. Because friendship is magic even when your friend turns out to be a sort of—" Ah... that would be telling, wouldn't it?

Read on for our author interview, in which Mr V discusses prose cameras, gummi artisans, and audio adaptations.


Give us the standard biography.

Isn’t it more fun if it’s all a mystery? I’m just a guy behind a computer screen. No need to be anything more than that. Wouldn’t want to subtly influence anyone’s perceptions by introducing real-world information.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

I’m not very good at coming up with names. Too many factors to consider. So I just went with something simple based on the initials of my actual name.

My actual name is also fake.

Layers upon layers.

Who's your favorite pony?

Rarity is (the) best pony.

What's your favorite episode?

This is the hardest question ever.

I guess it’s “whichever one I’m watching at the moment.”

Otherwise ... I guess "Sonic Rainboom" does have some notable memories for me. I found Rainbow’s triumphant moment to be more emotionally intense than is probably reasonable.

What do you get from the show?

Euphoria.

There’s something absolutely hypnotic about those adorable little ponies doing adorable little pony things.

What do you want from life?

All my life I’ve had one dream: to achieve my many goals. And also to have a suitable Simpsons quote for every occasion.

So far, it’s working out well.

Why do you write?

Well, in the event that I were to write something (heh heh), it would be because an idea were stuck in my head and I’d feel almost compelled to see if I could pull it off. I’d say almost all of the stories I’ve written have been something like experiments to see if I could adequately convey a certain concept, emotion, or tactile sensation via text.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

I’m not good at giving advice, but at least I might have some interesting information on writing technique. So here’s something, even though I do hate giving up such an essential trade secret: I’d say a lot of my “success” can be attributed to treating everything I write like it were a movie. Easy enough to say, but what I really mean is that you should (at least consider the option to) treat the reader’s perceptions the same way as a camera, and direct the “shot” accordingly.

So when you need the characters to be in a certain place, consider beginning with an establishing shot to show the reader where the characters are. This is a great chance to use descriptive language and set the emotional mood of the scene.

Next, and this is the key point, lead the camera around. Understand that the reader will be imagining whatever you write about. So whenever possible, try to always relate new things to things that are already in the scene, or things that the reader already knows about that are nearby. Otherwise, the “camera” will be flying all over the place, confusing everyone and negatively impacting the reader’s experience.

So, as a simple example, if you’re talking about a character’s face, you wouldn’t jump straight down to their shoes. Instead, you’d go to their shirt, then pants, then shoes. Or, if you have characters in a room and need to introduce something important on the wall, you might try to have one of the characters talk about that thing, or look at it, or maybe just briefly mention the wall at some point nearby in the scene, so that the wall is established in the reader’s mind and so that they can anticipate the “movement of the camera.” Anticipation is important. By controlling the scene like this, the reader will always be ready for the next thing they’re supposed to “see” and will stay nicely immersed in the story. Instead of jumping unexpectedly from place to place and object to object, the “camera” will be moving smoothly across the scene.

Well, of course, the precise implementation can change depending on the pacing of a particular scene. Action sequences can handle more jump cuts than a slower scene and so on, but I’d say the concept is still solid.

It’s kind of a subtle technique and maybe a little hard to explain, but I think it can have a real impact on how you experience a story. I used it extensively throughout Sweet Little Lovely. I like to think it worked out. Hopefully.

Bonus: Also, if the appearance of a character or object is important, do try to remember to describe it as early as possible (especially if it’s one of the main characters). I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to “retcon” my own imagination after I realized I was visualizing an important character all wrong because the author waited until chapter 3 to actually say what they looked like. It’s a really easy mistake to make, and I may even have done it myself a few times, but it’s really important to get it right if possible.

What inspired “Sweet Little Lovely: A Gothic Romance”?

As I mentioned earlier, it was initiated as a sort of experiment just to see if something could be done. In this case, it was “Is it possible to write a gore fic that’s also romantic? Can gore and horror be treated in a sensual, romantic fashion that allows it to actually be effective as a romance story and not just a mockery of the concept?”

I knew that it would be a tough challenge. Proper treatment of mood and language would be critical and the “gore” aspect would need to be treated as a positive rather than a negative thing. I struck upon the idea of something that examines the body with a sort of scientific and darkly romantic viewpoint that evokes a Victorian feel. It would be an old-fashioned horror story with slow pacing that would allow suitable buildup for the romantic plot and appropriate mood throughout, whether light and romantic or dark and anxious.

The actual process of writing took at least a couple of months, and I spent a good number of hours studying and reading works from Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and Lucy Maud Montgomery in order to get a period-accurate use of language, atmosphere, and flow drilled into my brain until writing it became second nature. At least, that was the intention, anyway.

What was it about My Little Pony that made you want to write a gothic romance in the setting?

It was never really a question of whether or not to write Pony; that’s just what I do.* Pony is my chosen medium, much like the gummi artisans who work exclusively in the medium of gummi.

* For certain definitions of the word “do.”

Do you see the story fitting somewhere into the Equestrian timeline we know from the show?

I guess it’s not impossible that it could have happened, say, 80 to 100 years before the current story.

But, I think it’s not entirely likely, and I wasn’t too concerned with that, since for the most part the actual historical context and relation to the canon timeline doesn’t really affect the events one way or the other. Either way is fine.

Would you characterize this as a horror story?

I don’t see why not. In fact, I would have added the “horror” tag to the story a long time ago, but I just never got around to it (as noted by someone who left a comment on one of the chapters). I don’t really worry too much whether my story is classified as this genre or that genre, just as long as it can be classified as “good.”

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Actually, yeah. Turns out there’s an awesome audio dramatization of this story (available on Youtube — here’s part one right here at this link). It’s got sound effects and everything. I was exceedingly stoked when I learned about it, and everyone should totally go and listen to it and upvote or whatever. It’s neat.

You can read Sweet Little Lovely: A Gothic Romance at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

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Comments ( 3 )

Ah, I remember reviewing this for a Seattle's Angels round. Good choice!

Oh, I am super excited to see this in the RCL!

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