• Member Since 22nd Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen April 14th

theRedBrony


Your friendly neighborhood mechanic / fanfic writer. Don't worry, I'm good at both! :D

More Blog Posts79

  • 45 weeks
    TrotCon

    See you there!

    1 comments · 94 views
  • 144 weeks
    I'm at EFNW

    Yep. Not cosplaying though. Will most likely be wearing a red MAGA hat (make Equestria great again). Have plenty of those, btw. And a couple copies of my book if anyone wants one.

    6 comments · 224 views
  • 240 weeks
    So I did a thing with Super Trampoline (Also, books)

    At horsecon, Super Trampoline and I made a blood pact (while intoxicated) to write a collab together. Not gonna lie, it's a steaming turd. But it was hella fun to write! You might get a kick out of it if you like crackfics. In fact, at least click on it and give it a vote. (Nobody's saying it has to be an upvote

    Read More

    3 comments · 296 views
  • 249 weeks
    About the Ending of Last Brony...

    Welcome, my loyal reader, welcome. And thank you for coming.

    I should mention now: THERE ARE SPOILERS HERE FOR THE LAST BRONY GETS HIS WISH.

    Source Unknown

    (This image is appropriate, I think.)

    Read More

    24 comments · 616 views
  • 250 weeks
    Am at BronyCon

    Am here, finally. Had a hell of a drive, and even worse night. Hotel reservation got bumped, but everything is ok now.

    Just letting you know I'm here, and if you didn't see my book in the bookstore thursday (or early friday) that's because it wasn't there. But it is now!

    4 comments · 287 views
Aug
8th
2019

About the Ending of Last Brony... · 7:04am Aug 8th, 2019

Welcome, my loyal reader, welcome. And thank you for coming.

I should mention now: THERE ARE SPOILERS HERE FOR THE LAST BRONY GETS HIS WISH.

Source Unknown

(This image is appropriate, I think.)

Suffice it to say, I’ve received quite a few negative-ish comments in regards to the ending of Last Brony. I’d like to address those here. Firstly, I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me this long. It’s legit been seven years since I started that story and in many ways, it doesn’t feel nearly that long.

My first instinct upon seeing the reaction to the ending of the story, was somewhat like so: “Oh god, oh god, I’ve disappointed my readers! How am I going to fix this?” And I thought that was the right reaction. Maybe I still do. Please allow me to explain, though, before jumping to conclusions. While I was going through this, I was at BronyCon 2019. In Quills & Sofas (or rather, the measly three tables apportioned to Quills & Sofas [the bastards]) I met a nice fellow named RoMS. And he gave me a nice piece of advice. In a nutshell: stay true to the story. Then Mr. Olden Bronie chimed in and (rather long-windedly [:heart:]) defended that same notion.

Now, the first conclusion I had jumped to was that I should write an epilogue for the story. RoMS was instantly and vehemently against that. And I see his point. I ended the story the way I wanted it to end and to change that would be a sin against the story, and myself. The thing is, while the story was always going to end about the way it did (with Dane’s rather uneventful demise), I had originally planned a bit extra, effectively an epilogue that would’ve been either from Twilight’s perspective, or perhaps a correspondence between Twilight and Princess Celestia.

In short, Twilight would be grieving, and Celestia would say some kind words, including something along the lines of: Death is a part of life, and where there is death, there is also life. Then there would’ve been something loosely alluding to the idea that Dane might’ve been reincarnated as a pony.

But as I wrote the ending, none of that felt appropriate anymore. YES, as I have said before, the ending was actually rushed. So you may continue to say that I rushed the ending – that’s fine, because it’s true. But I shat out three chapters in about two days; it really wouldn’t have been a stretch to write one more. So it’s not for lack of time that I didn’t add more, it’s that I didn’t think it was right for the story.

Though, at the time, I didn’t really know why. It didn’t even occur to me to think why that might be, until I got a hailstorm of ‘meh’ comments. For that, I had to do some really deep thinking. As it happens, a nice hot shower can help with that sometimes. You ever see those stupid Holiday Inn commercials? Yeah, it was like that. It came to me all of a sudden, in the shower. The comments that were haunting me for the past couple days were mostly along the lines of: ‘Uneventful and depressing’, ’that ended fast’, ‘I wish there was more’, ‘I feel jipped’… do these sound at all familiar to you? Because they do to me – now, anyways, upon reflection. They’re exactly how you would feel about death. (Minus the grieving, admittedly.) Think about it. Deaths are rarely glorious or heroic; they’re almost always uneventful and depressing. They tend to happen much faster than you’d expect or hope for. And then you find yourself feeling cheated of more time with that person. You feel jipped.

And that was the whole point. I hate to sound like some pompous sack of shit author, but really… that is the entire point, exactly. I mean, if I had my way, I would totally have you in tears at the ending, and apparently I’ve failed in that department. Unfortunately that’s a failure I’ll have to live with, there’s no way to rectify that. I could rewrite the entire story, but I’ll never get that moment back since it’s been read one way already. It’s kind of a one-shot deal. But otherwise, the more I think about it, the more I’m thinking that the ending is… mostly a success. Strange as that may seem to you… and even to me!

In my defense, the story always had the ‘Sad’ tag on it… in fact – correct me if I’m wrong – the ‘Tragedy’ tag didn’t even exist back in those days. Though I’m not entirely sure it qualifies as a tragedy. Maybe…

Moving on, though, I would also like to explain my thought process about the ending and even the whole story. Once upon a time, Dane was a really nice guy. Lively, happy, outgoing, and young. But over the years, he started focusing too much on the whole portal to Equestria thing. He basically started pushing away everyone, except his beloved wife, and those people he worked closely with. He started pushing away the outside world, effectively. And while, yes, it paid off for him in the end, much of the point of the story was that it may not have been worth the price that he paid for it.

In his old age, he only became lonelier and lonelier, not at all living up to his obsession’s core value: friendship is magic. The total opposite, in fact. And throughout the story, you see him coming to realize this. In many parts of the story, he laments that he didn’t spread the word about ponies, and that he so carelessly and selfishly tried to destroy a magnificent piece of technology, that so many people had worked very hard to bring to fruition… just to burn a bridge.

The point I’m trying to make here is that this is exactly the character’s journey I wanted this story to have from the get-go. He starts off selfish and lonely, then makes new friends, regrets and repents what he’s done, is sort of redeemed by Tyler, and when he dies, there is not one selfish thought in his mind. The ONLY things he cares about while on his death bed are the world he’s invaded and the ponies he’s hurt. That’s his character arc, that’s his journey, that’s how he changes. And I think I did that part well.

I had originally planned on having him ‘die’ three times. One chapter would’ve been him dying alone in the hospital bed, and lamenting being alone. What a horrible irony that he should die alone after reaching Equestria (which I think I left that line in the story). The next chapter would’ve been ‘oh wait I didn’t die yet,’ and Twilight would be there and he would’ve thought about her (much as he did in the published version), then ‘died’ again. The final chapter would’ve been with the rest of the mane six and Spike, and he would’ve been almost happy to be dying with them around him. And then, yes, he would’ve actually died. However, when I got to writing it, all of that seemed like unnecessary fluff that would’ve only dragged out the inevitable. Plus – why should he feel happy about dying? Even with the mane six with him on his deathbed? That’s terrible, and selfish. He’s injected himself in their lives only to go and die, and now they’ll be grieving because of him and his selfishness. That’s honestly how I would personally feel about that scenario, and given that this is a shameless self-insert, I am Dane, so I’m pretty much the authority on how he would feel. Besides, I don’t think that feeling horrible and selfish would be out of character or even unusual for anybody in this situation.

Then the bit about reincarnation just seemed like it was too optimistic and, well, happy an ending for what was always going to be his death. And that’s exactly what it was, and should be: Death. Finality. The end. To continue on past that would almost seem silly or out of place. If it makes you feel any better, you can consider it canon that Dane has been reincarnated as a baby pony, who was probably born right about the time Dane took his dirt nap.

Also, the only reason the story was left marked ‘Incomplete’ was because I published the last chapter from my phone, and it did not even occur to me to change it. Let me be honest, it’s not very often I finish a multi-chapter story. However, now I’m still considering adding somewhat of an addendum, perhaps a letter from Celestia to Twilight. I doubt it would add much to the story, anyway. But I will mark it ‘Complete’ if for no better reason than that it’s published in book form, and there’s really no going back on that.

Also, also, one last note. Anticipating something for many years has a nasty tendency to leave you unimpressed with the thing you were anticipating… whether or not it was any good. I do kind of feel like that’s a BIG part of why the general response to the ending is rather lackluster. However… that is, also, entirely my fault. If I’d’ve just wrote the damn thing and published it in a timely manner, maybe you wouldn’t have felt so disappointed in the ending. Maybe it would’ve been received better. Well, we’ll never know.


With all this being said, I really hope you understand my point of view, but I do want you to know that I feel like I have failed you. And for that, I offer you my humblest apologies. Feel free to tell me what a bastard I am in the comments.

I also feel like one of those pricks who posts overly-long wall-of-text ranty blog posts. :facehoof:

Comments ( 24 )

You :yay:ed bastitch! The story has the perfect ending, but I would have liked to see more...

I understand. I don't feel like I've been failed, nor am I disappointed. I was just surprised at something unexpected, and it isn't really my place as a reader to tell the author where to take his story, just to provide feedback.

Admittedly, I could have said more with fewer words. :twilightsheepish: Sorry!

You did the right thing, both here and in your story.

Or in fewer words: Good on you!:raritywink:

I would say more but then I realized that we are all lazy.

RoMS #5 · Aug 8th, 2019 · · 1 ·

Whatever you choose is the right decision. You're the author. :twilightsheepish:

Everyone dies alone. Whether you are a king on a battlefield or a lowly peasant lying in bed among your family, no one can accompany you into the void

:pinkiesad2::raritycry::fluttercry:

I skimmed ahead, to avoid spoilers, but I agree that the story should have the ending you want and readers should deal with it.

He was so dull even Discord didn't feel like keeping him 'alive' as an animated corpse puppet!

We do that all the time in Jersey. (It's where most of our politicians come from) :pinkiecrazy:

5102080 Unless you bring a whole bunch of people with you... like, an entire planet's worth. All at once. :pinkiecrazy:

I believe it was a very wise man who said starting stories is easy but finishing them is bucking hard. Hats off to you for finishing this lengthy tale, something that happens rarely with a lot of the interesting expansive tales on this site. Your epiphany about death being the ultimate ripoff is surprisingly astute as it sums up my own final comment on the story's ending. It's not you, it's not his journey, it's that final ending of life.

Death sucks.

This coming from a guy who's well past the point where he knows there's fewer days ahead for him than past.

One thing that struck me when rereading the earlier chapters is that structurally, it's very much a bog-standard circa-2012 self-insert fic. The portal, meeting the Mane 6, the existential mini-crisis, it's all there. Dane's regrets and his death are really the only things that set it apart. So in that sense, I think you made the right call.

Should have just killed him randomly with a rock to the head 4 years ago like I suggested . Same result .:raritywink:

5102040 Yeah, me too.
5102042 I completely appreciate the feedback!
5102044 Nonsense, I was only poking fun. It was a pleasure talking to you. It's always nice to converse with a person who has real life stories.
5102046 lol, how true.
5102065 Yes I am!
5102080 Yeah, that's pretty much were I was going with it...
5102141 lol?
5102172 Yeah, that guy was a real genius. :rainbowwild: But yeah, you pretty much...
5102364 Well, when you put it that way... :raritydespair: Nah, you're pretty much right. imo, what really set it apart was really the introductory chapter. It's sort of the sad story of his life, but not boring.
5102379 Might've been more interesting, but I have a feeling it would've pissed off even more readers. Of course I could've pulled some M. Night Shamalamadingdong bullshit, and made it so that his entire time in Equestria was just a fever dream before his death, after the portal failing and ripping him apart. :pinkiecrazy: Or I suppose he could've gone to Canterlot and got mauled to death by love-starved changelings.
5102095 i.imgur.com/LkqjClD.gif


Also, thank you all for the responses! :twilightsmile:

5102603

Or I suppose he could've gone to Canterlot and got mauled to death by love-starved changelings.

I sometime wonder if many of the HiE fics have it wrong and a changeling trying to feed off a human would instead starve to death because humans are the least love-infused thing in Equestria, as opposed to the ponies who live in a utopia and are chock full of the stuff.

The joke being, "Rocks have more love".

The pseudo-science behind it being that humans have almost no magic/mana whatsoever and that is what changelings actually feed on, not some ephemeral emotion.

I’ve eyed The Last Brony from a distance for a while, but I didn’t want to dive in while it was unfinished. I’m actually more interested now to know that you made a choice that leans on the tragedy of the protagonist’s choices. I’ll have to check it out. :moustache:

5102632 Not sure. I don't think I've ever seen a story like that. I'll tell you a bit of deleted scenes, though. There was going to be a chapter poking fun at how background ponies in the show are copied all the time. (I mean, the whole changeling thing in the show was pretty much their way of explaining away the animators' laziness in the early days of the show.) Anyhow, the chapter would've been about Dane spotting a second Bon Bon in a crowd of ponies, and him approaching her and talking to her about a conversation 'they had yesterday' - which had never occurred - in order to expose the changeling. Me being the kind of writer that I am, would've written the changeling as being... well basically having a world-breaking existential crisis (like Twilight did, I guess) about being uncovered. And Dane being Dane, would only comfort this random changeling, and offer his love. He'd then tell them not to go to Canterlot.

5103032 How long's 'a while'? Since 2012? lol well it's finished anyway, you should probably get readin'!

I feel like this falls afoul of "fiction, unlike reality, has to make sense." I feel similarly to this fic as I do to Catcher In The Rye:
Does it do what it sets out to? Yes.
Is it enjoyable? Not really.
Would I recommend someone else read it? Only if I'm upset with them.
Would I read it again? Absolutely not.
Is it better-written than at least a quarter of all fanfics on the internet? Yeah, probably.

5106407 Well, I'm sorry you feel that way. :unsuresweetie:

I’m just glad you actually finished it, even if it did bum me out.

Speaking as one who read the story long after completion, I think the ending fit. I felt sad that evening after reading it. Especially that last line from Nurse Redheart and the meaning of the chapter title. Shot through the heart there. Too bad I missed out on the physical book.

5624963 Well thank you! If you really want one, I could ship it to you.

5625009
Hey, that sounds good. How much and do you take Paypal?

Well, I'm a reader who only found this story after it was finished, and thus (obviously) wasn't waiting years for the ending. I thought the last chapter was very nice, and it made me cry a little bit, so good job.

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