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Seriff Pilcrow


Seek counsel of him who makes you weep, and not of him who makes you laugh.

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Dec
5th
2018

Answers for the Q&A! (Part 3) · 3:25am Dec 5th, 2018

Art by Seriff Pilcrow

Here it is, guys: the final part of the Q&A results! :yay: Sorry I’m uploading this later than my usual schedule; the answer to the last question took quite a while to write! :twilightoops:

FourShadow asks: “Any movies you’re excited for?”

Indiana Jones 5 and John Wick Chapter 3. As implied by my answer on what influenced Daring Did, I do love me some good action movies. :rainbowdetermined2:

tristanmon asks: “Spike is going to a carter”

I’m…not entirely sure what you meant by this question :unsuresweetie:. If you mean “Is Spike going to be a major character?”, well, no… He is a very important character; don’t get me wrong. Being the first person to discover Twilight Velvet’s secret past is a big deal, and Spike will appear in future Daring-Velvet fanfics (obviously only in the scenes that take place in the present). That said, Spike isn’t that major of a character compared to Velvet, Daring, Night Light, and arguably Twilight Sparkle.

spoonlol asks: “One of my favourite things about this story is the fact that it's Spike that's reading the book. He's close enough to the family to pretty much be a member of it but is also distance and young enough to where is doesn't go guns blazing demanding answers. Why did you decide to use him as the catalyst for the story?”

Well, a comprehensive answer to this question would be spoilers for future Daring-Velvet fanfics. :duck: So I’ll try to tread lightly.

The short answer is that I realized I need an “audience surrogate” to make Spectrum’s plot more relatable to the reader.

The first story of the Daring-Velvet series was originally going to drop the reader directly into the train action scene with Twilight Velvet. Spike would only appear at the end of the whole story in a Marvel-style “post-credits scene,” where he, Twilight Sparkle, and Twilight’s parents go to the library to replenish the books destroyed in Tirek’s battle. While there, Spike finds a very, very rare Daring Do book featuring a character who looks a lot like Twilight’s mom and is then confronted by her.

Then I realized that apart from the logical holes, this plan would be too divorced from canon for the reader to care about the rest of the story. Fanfic readers generally want to read stuff they can easily connect with canon. This is one of the reasons all-OC stories are hard to pull off. Velvet at this point was basically an OC, since “Once Upon a Zeppelin” hadn’t been released yet and no one knew what Velvet was like in canon. Jumping directly to a canon stranger like her would alienate potential readers.

So ultimately, I decided to give Spike a greater role in Spectrum. As someone with more canon exposure than Velvet, Spike is an easier character for the new reader to connect to, especially in the beginning of the story while the characters are being introduced. Instead of jumping straight into the canon stranger, the reader is now eased into the stranger’s life via a more familiar canon character. Also, while Twilight Sparkle is embroiled in family drama that’s crucial to important character arcs in the Daring-Velvet series, I have more flexibility with Spike when it comes to his role in the series. There’s a lot of wiggle room for Spike’s character arc compared to Sparkle’s more set-in-stone arc.

The Autumnlayer asks: “What inspired a team-up between Daring and Velvet? Seriously, what inspired this story's whole concept?”

spoonlol asks: “What inspired you the most to start writing this story?”

johnsparkly251 asks: “Why do you pair Twilight Velvet with Daring Do?”

Just to get one thing out of the way: I don’t pair Velvet and Daring romantically. In Spectrum or any of the other Daring-Velvet stories I have planned, they don’t have any serious romantic feelings towards each other. All of the romantic and sexual banter between the two of them are tongue-in-cheek jokes that don’t reflect how they actually feel for each other.

(That said, if you want to insist on shipping Velvet and Daring, I can’t stop you. You have the freedom of speech and expression to do so…)

I knew this day would come: I knew I’d have to talk about how this crazy idea got in my cortisol-addled head. This explanation will be long, so bear with me.

Around 2012 or 2013, Issue #11 of the MLP IDW comics came out. In the background of one of the panels, plaques with words “Author of the Year” and “Daring Do” can be seen mounted on the wall next to a picture of Twilight’s mom. Naturally, this led everyone to conclude that Velvet was the creator of the Daring Do books.

But then “Daring Don’t” came and trashed that headcanon. People adjusted their headcanons. Now Velvet was just an editor or a publisher of Daring Do books. Some even severed any connection Velvet had with Daring, so now Velvet was just a librarian or a teacher or an author of some non-Daring Do books.

I wanted to move against the tide.

And this picture by AlesMuller provided the spark.

Instead of drawing Velvet away from Daring, I brought them closer. Instead of simply being the author of the Daring Do books (well, co-author is more accurate), Velvet would be a semi-regular adventuring partner for Daring.

Mind you, Spectrum isn’t the first fanfic to try to accomplish this. I can give you two stories that set Twilight Velvet on a Daring Do adventure.

But none really accomplished what stuff like Fedora’s Daring Do series accomplished: creating a story that captured the same essence as contemporary action cinema.

So began a two-year long “training period” where I brushed up on my writing skills, read nothing but adventure stories, and made drafts for the Daring-Velvet series. I initially conceptualized the series to be a dark broody adventure similar to Tomb Raider 2013.


I still have the first chapter around in Google Docs. Maybe I should get around to making it public when I reach 200 followers…

Anyway, somewhere down the line, I noticed a growing trend towards darkness and grittiness and decided, again, that I wanted to go against the tide. As much as I enjoyed the newer, darker Tomb Raider, I realized that going down the same road for my fanfic wasn’t the best. When you have a character as snarky and as irreverent as Velvet, putting her in a hopeless, gritty situation like post-reboot Lara Croft would a) greatly decrease the number of opportunities where Velvet can realistically make snide quips, and b) increase the chance of making Velvet appear unintentionally psychopathic. In short, Velvet’s characterization would not mesh well with a gritty world.

So I decided to go the Uncharted route for tone. Violent and intense, but rarely dark and broody. Ample opportunities for Velvet to show off her irreverent sass. Plus, the tone and “rating” of Uncharted is accessible to more readers than the tone of Tomb Raider.

That didn’t mean Tomb Raider 2013 was completely axed from the project, though. Daring Do’s more cynical, introverted, and gritty personality in comparison to Velvet’s is largely inspired from Tomb Raider 2013. In fact, one can say that Daring and Velvet’s friendship chemistry is similar to how I would write a friendship chemistry between Nathan Drake and post-reboot Lara Croft.

That’s probably all I can say off the top of my head. If you want to know more, feel free to ask.

Thanks for all your questions, guys! :pinkiehappy: It’s exam period in medical school now, so I probably won’t be able to release the next chapter until late December or early January, but I hope you’ll stay tuned either way!

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Comments ( 4 )

Hmm, very enlightening. And yes please, do make that first chapter of that proto-Spectrum story available. Sounds interestin'.

I wish I had known I could have asked more then ONE question! LOL

4976679
I mean, you still can ask now… :twilightsmile:

Won’t be included in a Q&A blog post, but you’ll still get an answer.

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