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"For fun" is the best reason to do anything. "The best" is the best way to do everything.

More Blog Posts167

  • 10 weeks
    A War Among the Stars: Top Five Favorite Star Wars Novels

    Yo, remember that Star Wars Podcast I'm part of? We've got 11 episodes now!

    I wanted to bring special attention to episode 11 itself, where my friend and I discuss our top five favorite Star Wars Expanded Universe novels. Our main focus is on Star Wars before Disney bought it, that bygone time now known only as Legends.

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    5 comments · 51 views
  • 11 weeks
    DayBreak Reading Part 2

    Just thought I'd drop a link to StraightToThePointStudio's reading of the first scene of chapter 2 of DayBreak, where Luna and Twilight speak with Care about the attack on Celestia.

    A little voice acting, a little ambient music, a little taste of DayBreak from a different perspective. Or medium. :twilightsheepish:

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    0 comments · 49 views
  • 13 weeks
    Rhythm and Rhyme Postmortem; The Origin and the Point

    “MyHobby!” you say. “Where did the story come from, and why were you teasing it for literally four years before you actually started writing it?”

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    5 comments · 104 views
  • 15 weeks
    The First Chapter of DayBreak Gets a Reading!

    It seems I have friends in high places, because StraightToThePointStudio (also on Fimfiction) was requested to do a reading of the first chapter of DayBreak, "Hurricane!"

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    0 comments · 49 views
  • 17 weeks
    I'm in a Star Wars Podcast!

    Honored guests and applicable aliases, it's time for a slight paradigm shift from what we usually see around these parts. For the past few months, my buddy and I have been working on a fun project. Y'see, he's got to create a podcast for his college project, and he wanted to base it on something that was fun to talk about. The two of us routinely get into the nitty gritty about what we like and

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    1 comments · 46 views

Rhythm and Rhyme Postmortem; The Origin and the Point · 2:01am May 7th

“MyHobby!” you say. “Where did the story come from, and why were you teasing it for literally four years before you actually started writing it?”

Rhythm and Rhyme was originally a much different story. It always centered around Button Mash and Sweetie Belle, maybe more so than the final product, but it has its roots going back many a year. I recall it being the first near-future Ponyville story I ever devised, and yet, it came out as one of the last.

For the original short description:

Button Mash and Sweetie Belle must travel to the griffon homeland and beyond to prevent the devious archaeologist Dr. Caballeron from opening Pandora's Box. Novel, Adventure, Romance

On the surface, it seems to be quite similar to what eventually made it to your computer screen, substituting Pandora’s Box for the Spade of Hearts. But a story is more than a sentence.

Originally, Caballeron would be on an expedition to uncover Pandora’s Box, which was actually the tomb of a sleeping dragon with the power to completely remake the planet—Jormungandr, the World Serpent. He would unwittingly unleash the beast, which would rise from its grave to make war on Felaccia. Andean would be unable to stop it, and it would be up to Sweetie Belle to sing the monster back to its slumber.

What changed? DayBreak, really.

The old story was to be a direct sequel to both Scootaloo Will Fly! and Lord Mayor Applejack. The trajectory of these stories was to set up the series following the CMC and their contemporaries almost exclusively, while building Andean Ursagryph up as the big bad of the series.

He was to be tragic figure whose love for his people put him at odds with the rest of the world. It was he who hired Caballeron to unlock the secrets of Pandora’s Box. When he was unable to control the World Serpent, he would turn his eyes to seizing control of the sun.

But then… DayBreak changed everything.

Now, Andean is a hero, a character to root for. Now, Daring Do has an extended history of adventure and sacrifice. Now, Sweetie Belle has a power with a source that appears to be nothing but bad news. Now, there is a mastermind plotting behind the scenes that forces all our characters to work together to survive.

So I took the idea I had for the story, shuffled it to heck and back, and made it the plot of my original novel: That Proverbial First Step (working title). Which I blogged about back in 2015. The one that was completely on the computer that died. It still depresses me to think about it.

So that left me with no story to follow up with. I came up with Ahuizotl as the big bad in no time at all, and even set up the Spade of Hearts in chapter three of DayBreak. That just left, I dunno, the entire plot of the story to cook up.

So while I let that stew, I wrote the five stories between DayBreak and Rhythm and Rhyme. In the end, it is an entirely different story, one with a much more fleshed out world and characters and loads of backstory.

If nothing else, I prefer the new outcome for Andean's character.

What eventually got me ready to write it was coming up with a solid core to it. A meaning that tied the characters and their actions together in a cohesive whole.

To talk about that, I gotta open my heart to you guys.

So what is Rhythm and Rhyme, at the end of the day? On a lot of levels, it’s a story about becoming an adult. It’s about having your beliefs challenged, and finding out whether what you hold to be true holds up.

Button Mash and his hero worship is challenged by Cicada, and his sense of right and wrong is challenged by Caballeron. In the end, he modifies his outlook; Cicada’s heroic deeds are still heroic, but she is not a spotless paragon. He succeeds because he holds onto what he knows to be good, not out of ignorance, but out of careful examination. His sense of justice is so strong that he is able to shift Caballeron’s outlook back from his dark, nihilistic worldview to something lighter and more hopeful, if ever so slightly. Because Button Mash acts on what he knows is right, his actions save the day.

Sweetie Belle is caught in a similar situation. A grave responsibility is thrust upon her. She is forced to own up to it and use it to the best of her abilities in order to survive her ordeal. She is then forced to master it in order to allow others to survive. At the beginning of the story, she is nearly overwhelmed by the possibilities coming to her from every angle. At the end, she is solidly on her path forward. Sweetie taking responsibility of her dreaded power is what saves the day.

Martial Paw grew up too fast. He allowed his anger to control him in the wake of terrible tragedy, and it cost him much. He is a murderer. A traitor. A pariah. His connection to Daring Do allowed him to move past all that, but never to leave it behind. Now that he has lost everything he loved—in his eyes—he has only his anger and personal vengeance to hold onto. It’s so easy to forget what you care about when the going gets tough. It can be easy to forget the good times, the love people have for you, the fact that the world isn’t just darkness or shades of grey. A big part of growing up is to accept what life throws at you and spin it in a positive way. Martial still has loved ones, even if those he loved the most are gone. He just needed to accept that reminder. From Blankety Blank, from Care, from Andean Ursagryph himself. His willingness to open his heart again saved the day.

But then, Caballeron is the opposite side of the coin for each of these people. A pony who encountered tragedy and ran from it. The death of Happy is in many ways the catalyst for the entire series, and Caballeron has a huge part in its aftermath. He is eternally defined by his son’s death just as much as Merry Mare is. But while she dove into personal power, always trying to live in the past, he sought personal riches and rejected the past fully. He closed himself off, denied responsibility, and ran. Caballeron perhaps had to learn the lessons of all three of them in order to save the day.

And Chrysalis the Second, so awed by the legend of the alicorns and so disgusted by her mother, had to forge her own ideal in order to take her place as the true queen of the changelings. She eventually came to find that Celestia was not infallible, and was indeed not a good fit for her changelings. Like Button, she had her heroes tarnished. Like Sweetie, she had to accept personal responsibility. Moreover, she had to let her true self shine, having cast aside the playacting she had come to associate with adulthood. She had to be honest with herself first, and then others.

When you grow up, you learn the ugliness of the world. I pray you didn’t have to learn of it as a child. Actually being an adult is facing the ugliness, acknowledging it, and then fighting to improve it. You don’t have to take it lying down. It’s possible to change the world for the positive. If nothing else, you can change YOUR world for the positive.

Take chances, make mistakes, get messy. It’s how you learn. It’ll hurt, but the callouses build and the muscles strengthen. Open your heart, accept your responsibilities, and do what you gotta do! That’s the secret to adulting.

And that’s the point of the story, I’d say. Maybe the point of the entire series.

I thank you, dear readers, for following along with the story for four long years. I’m very glad to see it come to its conclusion. I wish I had been able to finish it in its heyday, but it couldn’t have been helped. I know I’ve grown a lot as a person over the last few years. I suspect many of you have, too.

Thanks for allowing me this moment to reminisce. Now, onward to the final two stories of the series.


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Comments ( 5 )

Always interesting to peek behind the scenes of a good story.

And the last part of your post is well said.


MyHobby #2 · May 7th · · ·

Thank you for saying so. It means a lot to hear.:twilightsmile:

Always interesting to peek behind the scenes of a good story.

I know, right? :pinkiehappy: I was always that kid watching a movie with the director's commentary so that I could learn about the process of the movie's creation. The most interesting part was always the "What If's" and the second most interesting was the mischief between the actors onset.

l love seeing the themes pulled together like this.

I coulda kept going, too, far past the point of being interesting. So many characters also tie into the themes, but not quite as completely. I see neither Cadence nor Corona as having a complete arc, since they didn't fully come into their own. Ahuizotl got to see the result of exactly the opposite of the lessons our main characters learned, and Cicada got to see how such lessons can degrade over time.

And Spike didn't get to complete his arc because of how he still has another book where he's one of the main characters.

And Daring and Care completed their arcs in the previous story, so they acted as support in this one.

And Flurry Heart doesn't really have to be an adult yet because she's still in a good place as far as childhood goes.

Sometimes I look at the cast of Rhythm and Rhyme and I think "How the heck did it get so goshdang big?" :twilightoops:

You see the same challenge with shows like the Simpsons. The thing is, to really explore a character and give them a full arc, you have to introduce new characters for your current focus to interact with and grow from. And then have these new characters who aren't fully formed themselves, since they were used to flesh in the first character. So the writer then tries to give characterization to the new characters, and the cycle repeats.

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