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Cold in Gardez


Stories about ponies are stories about people.

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Apr
12th
2020

What's your favorite story to write? · 8:08pm April 12th

So, like most of us, I've been stuck isolating in my apartment for the past few weeks. And even if I wanted to go out, there wouldn't be much for me to do.

On the plus side, though, I've gotten a lot of writing done! And I don't know about you guys, but some stories I have an absolute blast writing. Like, most writing involves hard work and can be unpleasant, but sometimes you just hit a groove, or you find a story that's just a sheer joy to write.

And for me, that story is The Adventuring Type. It's probably one of my least popular stories, but I don't care. It's funny, it's an excuse to write Rainbow Dash as Rainbow Dashy as I like, and the mere act of writing it helps me get through these tough times.

So, that leads me to the blog post's topic. What story do you love writing, no matter how unpopular it is? Post your answers below!


Yes, you!

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Comments ( 56 )

Well-researched SoL stories about cute ponies doing cute pony things. Ideally, involving some obscure tech.

mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kpbx/files/styles/small/public/HorseApparatusCP.jpg
For example, not used in a story (yet), those are quick-attaching harnesses for use in a fire station. The stable doors were rigged to an alarm bell, and the horses were trained to leave their stalls and stand in front of their particular apparatus when they heard the bell.

The driver would drop the harnesses when the horses were in position, and a helper fastened them, and they could have the apparatus out the door in 30 seconds from when the fire bell sounded.

Whichever my muse deigns to shout ideas for repeatedly from the back of my skull on any given day.

Wanderer D
Moderator

Hm. I really love writing Sunset's Isekai. It takes me to all sorts of characters and conversations of different levels of involvement without having to worry too much about an overall plot.

Adventure and exploration!

I enjoy writing things that suit my mood of the moment. I mean, right now other than paid "have to" stuff the only thing I'm really working on is a post-apocalyptic gay sex story. (Gay sex almost always suits my mood.) So, you know, expressing certain things I'm feeling there. :pinkiecrazy:

Horror will always just feel so wondrous to me, exploring the things that make me terrified and skittish while trying to incite that emotion in others.

Of them, it still has to be Fleeting Light and its sequels. The format adds an extra layer of interest to me, dealing with what the characters going through things are writing and how their mental state affects that. Then, in Pray, Hope and Wander, dealing with what those investigating things are going through.

In general, Slice of Life fics with slight Drama elements, usually along the basic lines of "_____ and _____ meet at _____ and talk about ____."

If we're talking about specific fics, as of right now I think Familial Bonds has the most writing that I can consistently look back at without immediately cringing at myself.
:)

I enjoy writing my Midnight's Shadow series. I really like the characters there, and I like getting to write adventure, mystery, and intrigue stories. Though I do really like to get to write my wacky comedy stories as well.

Ponies (and people) facing circumstances they have problems wrapping their minds around. I suppose that's why so many Bruener chapters, and Biscuit's prodding made me crank out another chapter in How Many Princesses. Seriously, I blame him.
5241248 Yes, you. :)

I really like writing romance. There's something about exploring two characters and getting them together that makes me so giddy. I hope I keep improving with each story I write, because I don't plan on ever stopping.

I've discovered I don't particularly like writing at all.

You know, after thinking about it for a couple minutes... I honestly don't know.

It's frankly never occurred to me to have a favorite type of story to write. I don't even know if I could name a favorite genre of story I like to read. And if I'm known for anything on this site, it's for there being absolutely no consistency in genre, subject matter, or sometimes even style across most of my stories. Maybe it could be argued that I gravitate towards slice-of-life for short fiction and action-adventure for longer stuff, but I don't know if that really counts...

Assuming the answer that my favorite type of story to write is "the next one" also doesn't qualify, I guess the closest thing to a common theme across the things I feel satisfied writing are moments of emotional intensity. Anything that lets me tear all the performance away from a character, boil them down to the most basic incarnation of who they are, and see what they say in their most vulnerable moments... that's the shit I like.

So... monologuing, I suppose. Any story that lets me write a monologue, I'm psyched about.

I mean, I guess I ENJOY writing comedy, so much as I ... ONLY write comedy. Or at least I only write comedy fanfic. I mean, it's a cartoon, you kinda have to.

This said, I think I've probably had the most fun with my various Equestria Girls stories? Or, well, maybe they just seem easier to write 'cause the characters have, y'know, thumbs. Goes a long way, really.

Though I'm also inordinately proud of the continuing adventures of Flash Sentry, HERO OF EQUESTRIA(tm), even though that's like a niche inside of another niche, right there.

I got extremely lucky that the story I have the most fun writing is also my most popular. Writing about a summer romance between two goofy birds while a mysterious threat looms over Mount Aris is insanely fun. Lots of worldbuilding to do in the settings that the show only briefly explored, plus Gallus and Silverstream are an absolute blast to write!

Linked, just in case, ya know...đź‘€

Set Sail

Regular people ITT: writing about stories they like to write
Me: meticulously checking every story link for hidden gems

I feel so :twilightblush: at times

After some thought, I’d have to say:
Anything where two characters are stuck with each other and better their relationship, be that romantic, friendship, familial, etc in the midst of world building large or small.

I love history, and as such I love writing about it. Which is part of why your Lost Cities appealed to me so much. I'm working on some worldbuilding stories. Historical stories.

Including one about the fall of Hollow Shades. How the darkness that took Stygian left it's mark on this town and left it abandoned before the Pillars could defeat the Pony of Shadows.

It'll take a lot of work to pull it off, but I'm excited to do it

I love writing the TD Alicorn stuff. Most things TD, really. The latest chapters of Resurgence where his chaos lord sister creates the One Ring which gets away from her and corrupts Starlight and Twilight is some of my favorite writing I've ever done, and when Pinkie gets ahold of it...

I also love the Not a Scammer story. The way each of the characters reacts to an obvious scammer calling them was a ton of fun to write.

You know those stories whose premise is so simple, yet when you go about writing them, you find that hidden beneath it are layers of complexity and cohesion that you could not have anticipated?

It's a lovely thing to say that. Which is why I consider myself a writer best left with as minimal plotting as possible - I love the discovery of the story, and the discovery of the words that make the story, that string themselves together and sing like little birds on a Chain of Hearts plant.

I think my favorite things to write were The Legend of Falling Rocks, Buffalo Brave and The Collected Poems of Maud Pie, because I was stretching myself a great deal while writing them. And also because I was playing with the audience's expectations while writing them, which is something I guess I like doing.

My two favorite sorts of story to write in general are comedy stories - because I like trying to come up with ways to make people laugh, and generate comedic situations and wordplay - and philosophical pieces that ask a question or try to explore perspectives on a subject matter.

I like thinking about dramatic stories with reveals, but in practice, I find they're difficult to write in such a way that isn't cheating, and it's also common for me to come up with an idea for a "reveal" and then realize that the story itself isn't very interesting apart from the reveal, which means it isn't a very good story unless it is very short.

That's a tough one. Looking back over what I've written, there are a few broad themes that pop up: loss, the road not travelled, and apparently twin sisters separated at birth for some reason. There's a certain level of fate about it to, though I like to circumvent that by writing a lot of AUs and interdimensional adventuring to explore what fate would be if the starting conditions are a little different. It's all a bit existential at its root, so I suppose that's ultimately what I end up writing. It's cathartic.

I generally like tales that have adventure, a little mystery, or any tale that makes for a good excuse to do some world-building. :raritystarry:

Much like "The Adventuring Type" actually, so little wonder I've enjoyed it so much. :raritywink:

Unfortunately, that makes it hard to point to just one of my stories that I've written I enjoyed writing the most, because nearly all of them fit into those categories in some shape or form. :rainbowlaugh: But that's the secret to writing after all--write what you enjoy the most. :twilightsmile:

In general, the sorts of stories I enjoy writing are pretty much the same as the sorts of stories I enjoy reading: lots of detailed, carefully considered world-building, characters, and plot elements. After thinking about it, the flip description that finally coalesced was: I enjoy writing, and reading, about professionals acting professionally and with professionalism. That probably is why I’ve ended up writing more about EG than FIM.

In general, the ones I can't keep inside because I have a message to convey. But nearly all of my stories do that, so that doesn't help much.

I'll say my favorite character to write for is Luna. I identify a lot with her and her dialogue is always fun. It's always easy for me to find her voice, and her mindset and emotions come through almost effortlessly.

I like writing Twi and Ponk for similar reasons.

Bad ponies doing good despite their worst impulses. Which is why so much of my stuff is milfic, I think?

Man, I love The Adventuring Type. I try to button-hole people about it every time you publish a chapter.

Any story about witty characters have long conversations that are half philosophy or working out deep personal questions, and half friendly teasing. Sun and Hearth was hands down my favorite story to write, otherwise I never would have finished it, and The Spirit of a Pegasus for similar reasons (I more or less designed my take on the founders to be characters I love to write about.) But some of my earlier stories like A Guide to Magic, Maiden's Day, and Good Ponies Don't... Do They? Do the same kind of thing.

Hm, the most fun ones for me (though not necessarily the most effortless ones) are stories with a cool twist to them or ones done in a children's tale style. Sometimes I'll also get in that zone with a strong character piece.

5241399

Any story about witty characters have long conversations that are half philosophy or working out deep personal questions, and half friendly teasing.

That's, like, half the reason I had fun writing this latest chapter of Adventuring Type. It almost felt like cheating.

Hmm... honestly not sure I'm qualified to make a decision, as I haven't really published or written enough of a variety of stories to feel like I can say which I like more or less.

That said, the fact that I tend to stick to certain kinds of story might say something. I mean, I'm writing a long series and I'm not intending to stop any time soon despite its minimal views, so there's got to be something about writing it that I like.

I find that if I have a set of characters, be they canon, original or anything in between, that I like and think play off each other well and a decent idea for what events, large or small, that they go through, I generally enjoy it immensely. It's often fun just to let them take the reins to some degree - I usually (though not always) know exactly how events will proceed, but just imagining and transcribing their conversations and interactions and seeing how they get there is interesting all on its own.

Other than that, I generally prefer writing stories that are... fun. Not necessarily out-and-out comedies, though sometimes them too, but stories where things are fairly light and I don't have to surpress my natural sardonicism and can go on occasional-to-frequent tangents if I want to. Stories that are meant to get a smile if not a laugh.

5241466
Hitting those chapters is the best reason to keep writing. :ajsmug:

5241248
Not just fire stations, either. I happened to reread a passage recently...
Here it is (transcribing):

Handling emergency calls for the street-railway involved picturesque equipment in the days of horse-drawn apparatus. The emergency wagon was usually provided with a movable tower that could be raised to a convenient height to permit work on the overhead trolley wires. For this reason it was called a "tower" wagon. It was housed in much the same way as a regular fire-engine. Sleeping quarters were provided for the crew on the second floor with the same kind of a shiny brass pole to provide a means of rapid descent. Horses were stabled immediately behind the wagon with spring doors at the front of their stalls so that no time would be lost in their getting out. Special harness was arranged on frames suspended from the ceiling so that it could be dropped quickly on the backs of the horses as soon as they had come out of their stalls, and snapped fast with a minimum of effort. The frames were counter-weighted so that they rose out of the way to the ceiling as soon as the harness was released.

(From Fares, Please! by John Anderson Miller, unabridged 1960 Dover republication of the 1941 book. I picked it up in a used book store in Huntsville, Alabama years ago, so I'm afraid I don't know if it's online anywhere or reprinted more recently. Interesting book, though.)

Tragedy, mostly. Especially romantic tragedy. There's something I like about when things just don't work out, or fall apart, and writing characters that go on from there. In one story I've been writing (spoilers don't matter, I never actually finish anything anyways), the main character starts out as the antagonist, falls for the hero, becomes maimed, and goes on to save the hero from a bigger bad guy, but while the hero is as grateful as anyone could be, you just can't force something that isn't there, and the story ends with the main character having done good in the world, but still alone, still maimed, and without a plan on how to proceed in life. No good deed goes unpunished.

It isn't all sunshine and rainbows even after you win, as any war veteran can attest. Sort of reminds me of a line in a certain game: "You saved us, but you'll kill us. I'm sorry. You're a hero... and you have to leave."

I haven't been writing so much horse lately because I've been working on some original writing. Totally digging the exploration of broad, existential questions along with deep interpersonal ones, all muddled by the narrow lens of perspective. My main project is centered entirely around relationships and the concept of relationships, so it's going to be a lot of fun. Creating tragedy and character drama in order to ask those questions is half of it!

Comment posted by Cynewulf deleted April 13th

If a story reads like a weird fever dream I probably enjoyed writing it. I would like if most of them weren't disastrously bad, but I enjoyed them while they were being made and that's enough.

I finished the story I most enjoyed writing to date. Generally, anything rooted in adventure, fantasy, and romance I enjoyed deeply. Writing darker/dramatic elements, Luna, Sombra, and Cadance are also the favorites.

5241267
You’re welcome :heart:

5241529

Not just fire stations, either. I happened to reread a passage recently...

That’s really interesting!

I can’t see why having such an apparatus would be an advantage for a street car company (surely another few minutes harnessing the horses wouldn’t have been that big a deal) . . . maybe it was for bragging rights, or maybe they got the equipment used from a fire department.

It’s also possible that tech was more widely used than I imagine, in which case I have to re-think some harness details in previous stories.

5241939

Everything we thought we knew about 19th century counter-weighted harnesses was a lie.

5241971

Everything we thought we knew about 19th century counter-weighted harnesses was a lie.

Legit a while back we were commenting on one of iisaw’s blogs about mule harnesses used for carrying artillery, and I found a few links describing how guns back in the day were designed to be broken down and hauled by mule.

Also came across a pic a couple days ago describing how ramps were used in ship construction to let the mules get aboard.

There’s a lot of pony-related problems we try to solve in our stories which our ancestors had figured out.

A sheer joy to write? Um... nothing? Nothing. Every story is a slog for me. But I have 3 different types of slog:

  • Serious 3000+ word stories, which always require at least one complete overhaul / reorg after the first draft
  • Comedies, which I write so analytically that they usually aren't funny to me until a year later
  • Under 1000-word stories, which I wrote for the write-off in a state of panic and sleep deprivation

Crap, I spent the last 2 days revising a story you pre-read for me in 2014, which I still haven't posted, and which seems to me now like an utter train wreck of contradictory narrative, contradictory themes, and OOC characters. I can't seem to rescue it except by making it trite. That's a typical story for me--a catchy idea that goes stale as I flail about, getting in deeper and deeper trouble until I give up and leave it unpublished. Typical blog post, too. I have 200-300 unposted blog posts in various states of completion.

That doesn't mean they're not rewarding to write. "Moments" was very rewarding, but it took 5 years and 4 restarts to write the final chapter with Grand Moff Pony, which is only 2500 words long. "Shut Up" and the first half of "Burning Man Brony" were among the easiest to write, in terms of flow, but brutal on my psyche.

5241939
Well, for one thing, one of the things the emergency wagons responded to was fires, and in fact the book mentions the facilities being tied into the same alarm network as the fire department. An emergency wagon on the scene could lay down hose jumpers over fire hoses crossing the street, allowing streetcar traffic to continue flowing, and though I don't recall the book mentioning it, I'd guess they also performed ongoing assessments of whether it was safe to keep the cars running and watched for other problems. I'd also imagine, though I've no evidence for it, that they might have at times helped the fire department out if a few extra hands were needed for the less dangerous parts of the job.

Also, I'd guess the tower wagons would also respond to such things as downed wires, which'd not only stop streetcar traffic but potentially endanger their surroundings.

But now that you mention it, I can also imagine it being partly for bragging rights or the like, yes. :)

"It’s also possible that tech was more widely used than I imagine, in which case I have to re-think some harness details in previous stories."
Oh, sorry.

5242116

Well, for one thing, one of the things the emergency wagons responded to was fires, and in fact the book mentions the facilities being tied into the same alarm network as the fire department. An emergency wagon on the scene could lay down hose jumpers over fire hoses crossing the street, allowing streetcar traffic to continue flowing, and though I don't recall the book mentioning it, I'd guess they also performed ongoing assessments of whether it was safe to keep the cars running and watched for other problems. I'd also imagine, though I've no evidence for it, that they might have at times helped the fire department out if a few extra hands were needed for the less dangerous parts of the job.

Also, I'd guess the tower wagons would also respond to such things as downed wires, which'd not only stop streetcar traffic but potentially endanger their surroundings.

You knocked some cobwebs out of my brain, and I remember hearing about hose jumpers before. Not sure exactly how the worked; I assume a little ramp that the streetcar went over.

Also, I’ve got a book called Working Horses by Charles Philip Fox*, and this is one of the illustrations:
3.bp.blogspot.com/_h5xtxx9P5TU/TLOWL9fMXHI/AAAAAAAAAB8/sR0CBfH6A6o/s1600/Klepper,+Max-Horses+in+a+Blizzard.jpg

Electricity and horses are not a good mix.
______________________________________________________________
*That’s a proper name, there.

But now that you mention it, I can also imagine it being partly for bragging rights or the like, yes. :)

Like, that’s the kind of thing where you’ve got mixed feelings, at least from a modern perspective. “We fix our s:yay:t faster when it breaks than the other guys do.” I can’t recall a single cell phone provider advertising how fast they fix outages . . . and yet, I can’t help but feel that back in the day when tech wasn’t as reliable as it is now, that wouldn’t be a bad tack to take when advertising.

"It’s also possible that tech was more widely used than I imagine, in which case I have to re-think some harness details in previous stories."
Oh, sorry.

Don’t be sorry, I love learning new stuff about old stuff. :heart:

5242649

*That’s a proper name, there.

It's the iambic alliteration, I think. Phi-lip Fox. Mmm.

5242677
If I got to choose, that would be my name.

As it is, it’s partway there. Let’s just say that the love of horses was inevitable from the moment I was christened.

5242649
"I assume a little ramp that the streetcar went over"
Yep, pretty much.
[looks around a bit]
Ah, this page has a picture of (a drawing of) some, looks like.

re the book and picture:
Oh dear. But yes, indeed, that's another reason one might want a fast response to a problem with the streetcar system.

re the name:
:)

By the way, another interesting bit from the book on my end, from the days of the horse-drawn street railway:

Winter brought its troubles for the street-railway manager. Snow removal developed into an exceedingly knotty problem. Nobody had ever thought of removing snow from the public streets until the horse-car came along. Then it had to be done so that the wheels would stay on the rails. This, however, interfered with sleighing. In Boston, the Mayor and Aldermen solved the problem by forbidding the street-railway companies to clear the tracks at all so long as sleighing was good. The companies could operate passenger sleighs, they said, and charge the same fare as on the cars, but the snow had to remain on the tracks until it melted away of its own accord. Some companies attempted to clear their tracks by melting the snow away with salt. Objection was made to this on the ground that it worked on the same principle as an ice-cream freezer; lowering the temperature of the air sharply, and endangering the health of people on the streets.

(Oh, and from later on, involving cable-drawn cars and not horse-related, but... I can imagine the CMCs potentially doing something like this, though I'm not sure exactly what mark they'd be working towards (or if they'd just be having fun). :D

Small boys sometimes added to the headaches of the cable-railway management by hitching their express wagons to the cable. This was done by tying a rope to the handle of the wagon, finding a spot where the cable passed over a roller, and allowing the rope to dangle down through the slot until it became wrapped around the cable as the latter came into contact with the roller. Then off would go the express wagon and the boys would have an exciting ride until they met a policeman. If the policeman appeared suddenly and unexpectedly the boys jumped off and disappeared, leaving the wagon to travel down the street by itself. If there was time enough the boys would cut the rope free from the wagon and escape with the latter intact. Cutting the rope was a more satisfactory procedure so far as the boys were concerned, but was not so good from the standpoint of the railway company. When the rope was cut and left wrapped around the cable, the man on duty at the power-house hand to shut down operation and untangle the rope when that part of the cable approached the machinery.

)

re speed of repair in advertising:
I don't know, that still sounds like a selling point to me.
(For one, the ISP I had growing up comes to mind. It was the only one in the area, which you could tell because people there actually used it.
We had some internet trouble here tonight, but of why it came to mind, but still, far better.)

re learning:
Ah, well thanks. :)

5242880

By the way, another interesting bit from the book on my end, from the days of the horse-drawn street railway:

Compacting snow was commonplace, using giant rollers:
images2.minutemediacdn.com/image/upload/c_fill,g_auto,h_1248,w_2220/v1555928258/shape/mentalfloss/uvmsctous2013-full_0.jpg?itok=dmEWTu09
It was fine for horses and sleighs. I hadn’t thought about the problem with street cars, but of course compacted snow isn’t great for automobiles, either.

(Oh, and from later on, involving cable-drawn cars and not horse-related, but... I can imagine the CMCs potentially doing something like this, though I'm not sure exactly what mark they'd be working towards (or if they'd just be having fun). :D

I have thought about ponies grabbing on the back of trolleys for a free ride (people do it with busses and stuff, especially in Russia), but unless they’re already wearing roller skates . . . I could see pegasi landing on roofs for a free ride, though. Maybe not around town, but out in the countryside a moving train might be irresistible to a pegasus.

5243357

If you're going to hijack my blog post to talk about horses I demand new Sam and Rose as payment.

Actually, just write more Sam and Rose anyway.

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