• Member Since 3rd Jan, 2013
  • offline last seen 5 hours ago

Goldenwing


The product of a highly improbable reaction between a rubber band, a liquid lunch, and a particle accelerator. Support me on Patreon!

More Blog Posts72

  • 6 weeks
    Chapter 22, Patreon Changes, and UBOAT

    Hey, hey, people. Gold here. It's been a fair while since I got an update out, for... reasons. Not good reasons, I guess, but you know how it is.

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    2 comments · 270 views
  • 13 weeks
    Completed Audiobook and a Year of SH!

    Now I know that normally I update on Fridays, but when I was looking over the chapters for SH I saw that I published the first chapter on May 7th, 2019. That was about four days ago, and after a few frenetic days of coffee and writing, I've just managed to get this next chapter out in time for the story's anniversary! Just over 200k words written in a single year, which is three times the speed

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    3 comments · 244 views
  • 19 weeks
    Chapter 20 Drafted

    Dude, I'm so over this coronavirus stuff.

    Chapter should be out soon, 15k words. I'll push it as soon as my editors give it the ol read-through!

    And don't forget to wash your hands!

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    6 comments · 231 views
  • 22 weeks
    Lost Student Revision Ready!

    Hello, little flowers! As promised previously, Empty Horizons: The Lost Student is finally out on FimFic! As I've said a few times now, it really is a huge improvement over the first version, and PsyonicG has been dutifully writing at an impressive pace to get it done. She'll be doing a chapter a day until she runs

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    0 comments · 183 views
  • 22 weeks
    Sunset's Isekai Chapter Released!

    Here it is! The most recent chapter.

    Those of you interested in seeing Rainbow, AJ, and Flint just relaxing some, and especially seeing Rainbow open up some about her feelings and even get a bit of a happy ending, check it out! This takes place between chapters 18 and 19.

    0 comments · 135 views
Dec
8th
2018

Act One Complete! [SPOILERS] · 4:53pm Dec 8th, 2018

Whoa, what a ride, am I right? Did you see that ending?

Before I go any further—in the event that any of you suffer from a malignant illness that keeps you from reading the last 36% of the characters in a blog title, I'm assuming going into this that you have in fact read all of Empty Horizons. And that means SPOILERS AHEAD. You've been warned.

So here we are. Almost three years later, I finally get to put that sexy Complete tag on my story, which is just Act One of three. Horizons was always meant to follow the traditional three-act structure, but it wasn't till about midway through Act One that I decided to actually split it up into three stories. Why? Mostly meta reasons, to be honest. I feel like three 200k stories are a lot less intimidating than one 600k story. I want more chances to get slick cover art and write reviews. The inter-story gap lets me change some things that otherwise could be jarring if done mid-story. It just lets me be more flexible.

And as seems to be the fad in these times, I felt like writing this nice little wrap-up blog about Empty Horizons, how it got to where it is now, and my plans for the future. Communication is, after all, the key to any good relationship!

Empty Horizons is, in a way, a revival of an older story. I'm not gonna be going into details here, but there was a fairly popular author who rounded (too) many people up with a dream to make an epic collaborative adventure. It was to be called The Sound of Thunder, and it was about Princess Luna leading a crew of brave ponies on a Waterworld-esque adventure across a sunken Equestria to find her sister. The idea is that she came back as Nightmare Moon to find the whole place underwater and ponies clinging to life on a few scattered islands. Of the fifty or so people who ended up joining that group to contribute, twelve of us were chosen as authors. And that's where I learned that collabs with internet strangers are cancer. You can find a few scraps of the story on the site, but it all fell apart in a great big drama and nothing ever really came of it.

Fast forwards to early 2016. I had finally come to terms with the thought that my first story, Omega, which I had foolishly dreamed of becoming "the new Fallout: Equestria," wasn't going anywhere. I needed something new to write, but I wasn't sure what. So I tried to get the old Sound of Thunder gang back together to see if anyone was interested in trying again. It was, after all, a really fun time, and I miss the sort of camaraderie we all had before it all fell apart. Only a few people responded and we got together for a chat in Discord.

Among them was Doccular42, the author of the well-recieved incomplete Gamer Luna adventure, Her Knight In Faded Armor. He was always one of the big idea guys, and he pitched this idea of a spiritual rebirth of The Sound of Thunder. He had an idea for an opening where the Mane Six were all dug up, hibernating in some kind of mechanical stasis machines, by salvagers diving into a drowned Equestria. As a big fan of airships, I suggested floating islands. We all agreed that it was a pretty dope opening, but nobody else wanted to do anything with it. So they all gave me their blessing to write the story, and make The Sound of Thunder great again.

I wrote the first chapter just from that conversation, with no plan for where it went next. I changed a few things out—mechanical pods for changeling pods, for instance—but that opening was mostly Docc's idea. People liked it, so I kept writing. I got together with a very old friend of mine who I've written with before, my co-author, and we started hashing out an actual plan. By Chapter Five, we had an idea of the path the story would take. This path has always been very fluid, changing as we write and opportunities present themselves, but by then we had the three acts vaguely outlined.

I find it very curious how much of the story has spawned from random decisions. I put Fluttershy in a coma in the first chapter because I didn't want to deal with acknowledging all her panicking in the midst of that chaos, and then it just sort of became a short-term goal. Then I had the idea of the disenchantment going wrong and Twilight getting corrupted. Over time, this developed into the Other. Half of Twilight's plotline stemmed from my laziness in Chapter One. And that's just one instance.

There's a lot of places where the story teetered between two paths. I wasn't sure who would win the first fight between Gava and the Mane Six until I had finished it. Rainbow's lost eye was a decision made in the moment. The first act was initially going to end with Twilight getting control back over the Other, until my co-author pointed out that that wasn't epic enough to suit the build-up, and it would be better if we did something that really changed the status quo. And so we added another chapter, and got the ending you all hopefully just read. I think it worked out better that way.

Can I just mention again that Nier: Automata has a fantastic soundtrack? I was listening to stuff like this as I wrote that finale and it was good.

And so it went. Empty Horizons grew over time into its own story, and now I have a fairly active Discord of my own where I talk to my readers and we're all nice and cozy. It's great. Honestly, I had given up on the idea of "writing the next Fallout: Equestria" a long time ago, but every now and then I hear people tell me that my story reminds them of it, and that makes me giddy. I never really thought I'd make it this far. I find it somewhat surreal to even be writing a blog post like this. Isn't this only what good authors what a lot of readers do?

And now we're looking forwards. I have a few things to do before I can start on Act Two, Sunken Horizons. First, I'm going to write a summary of Act One and post it as a blog. That way readers who have been with me for a long time can get their memories refreshed before going on into the next story. The team of musical fellows in my Discord are going to take that summary and use it to write and perform a sea shanty version of Empty Horizons, which I'm quite looking forward to. I have a move coming up, so I probably won't start writing again until January. At that point I'll make myself a Patreon, and I figure I'll write the first three chapters of Sunken Horizons before publishing any. I don't like the idea of setting up a way for people to pay me before I actually have something to give them, but once I start writing you'll have the option of contributing and seeing things ahead of time.

And I'm not taking this whole Patreon thing lightly, by the way, even though I am a smelly sellout. I don't want to take things away from anybody. The idea is that the financial support of readers will let me write more, and make more content for everybody. Every $100 I get a month is a day I can just say, "I don't feel like working today. I'm going to take the day off and write instead." And who knows? Maybe one day you lunatics will pay me enough that I can just do it full time. If every one of you paid me just a dollar a month—well, I wouldn't really have any excuses to not update every week, would I? It's a pipe dream, what can I say?

Hrm. I think that's that.

Before I go, I'd like to give thanks to a few people. First up, Doccular42 for pretty much coming up with the idea that grew into Empty Horizons. My first editor, M1ntfan, for taking me on and fixing all my it's/its typos from the start. Noc and Dominus Alicorn for being super active on the Discord, reading drafts almost the moment I finish them, and always being there for feedback. My co-author for making the story good. Everyone else on my Discord for hanging out and being awesome. Good times.

I'd also like to say that I've always written Horizons with potential side stories and sequels in mind. And now that Act One is done, well, hit me up if you have any ideas. I don't have the time to write side stories at the same time right now, but maybe we could work out a work of your own set in the same world? I do have one guy that's been plugging away at a side story featuring a pirate who goes on an adventure into The White (the frozen north), but he's been real strapped for time for a while now.

Before I go, I've already got some cover art picked out for Sunken Horizons. Big thanks to PocketHenry for finding the image and editing it my liking. Here's something to chew on:

See ya around, buckos!

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Comments ( 8 )

So what's the plan to notify readers when the sequel is posted? Options I can think of include a dummy chapter in Empty Horizons, a blog post tagged to Empty Horizons (a less visible option, since many don't read blogs), or simply taking advantage of the fact that the story is EqD approved and getting the next story posted there in one of their update posts.

Noc

Can’t wait for that part two, fam.

4978299
People could always just follow him directly, of course.

Empty Horizons grew over time into it's own story

1. :trollestia:Its:trollestia:

But in all seriousness it's always funny how plot points in a story tend to evolve from your past decisions doesn't it? I'm also imagining the last title would probably be Over the Horizon or something just to fit the theme. Bit you know, that's just me thinking. And hey, we've got something from the deep lurking about. Wonder what it could be? Find out next time in Sunken Horizons!

4978299
I figure I'll make a blog post, publish it, and get it on EqD. Oh, and mark it as a sequel on EH. I'm not gonna be adding any dummy chapters to EH. It's sloppy and looks ugly and there's just a lot of ways for people to find it besides.

4978339
I thought of mentioning you, but then I'd have to talk about all the other cool commenters I liked too.
Also, my tentative title for Act Three is Ashen Horizons. Over The Horizon wouldn't fit from a rhythm perspective.

4978346
Hmm, fair enough since it fits better and does roll off better. Don't worry about no mention, we're all still here. We just love reading :rainbowwild:

About to plunge headfirst into act two soon. But interesting but of history.

Was hoping for more hints about this "other", what happened to give everyone the blood crying disease, and what ever happened to Discord

5173853
I've very much enjoyed reading your reactions in real-time as you race through the story, and I look forwards to more!

5173886
If I wasn't reading while at work I'd have tried to leave more then! :twilightblush: I'll see what I can do when I begin the sequel :twilightsmile:

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