• Member Since 11th Jul, 2011
  • offline last seen 5 minutes ago

Aquaman


The campiest of happers.

More Blog Posts151

  • 15 weeks
    Regarding Less-Than-Positive Interpretations of Pride

    Let's get a quick disclaimer out of the way before we really get going: I don't like foalcon. By "foalcon" here, I refer specifically to M-rated stories that depict characters who are very clearly meant to be minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct with other minors and/or adults. Not a fan of it! I find it gross on a personal level, I think it's morally reprehensible that a site of this

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    37 comments · 1,235 views
  • 25 weeks
    The Life That Was Given to Us (Or: The Unbearable Betrayal of Sincerity)

    Got a comment on my last blog a little bit ago that went something like this:

    "Why not get a life instead of taking Internet horse drama so seriously?"

    I'd like to talk about this comment a bit. Not the lazy insult itself, but rather the perspective it represents, and how I both sympathize with and can no longer accept that point of view.

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    33 comments · 1,071 views
  • 25 weeks
    Not Being Vague Anymore

    (4/21/21 10:15 AM EST: Slightly edited so as to play slightly nicer with others.)

    (4/21/21 IDK when: more edits from site mods; there used to be screenshots of the original post and a particular comment that prompted mine.)

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    151 comments · 3,124 views
  • 43 weeks
    Look What I Did Instead of Anything of Substance Today!

    Posh did this, and then Present Perfect and Jake the Army Guy did it too, so now I'm giving in to completely imagined peer pressure to

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    9 comments · 431 views
  • 61 weeks
    *noises of a horse vagueposting*

    Boy, you have some gullible fuckin' followers, fam.

    Read More

    27 comments · 762 views
Dec
14th
2020

Look What I Did Instead of Anything of Substance Today! · 5:17am Dec 14th, 2020

Posh did this, and then Present Perfect and Jake the Army Guy did it too, so now I'm giving in to completely imagined peer pressure to do it, because I've been out of the game for a hot minute and this felt like the least scary way of diving back into the non-freelance-writing pool.

Self-indulgence below the break. Don't ever say I don't know what y'all like.

Tell us about your current project(s) – what’s it about, how’s progress, what do you love most about it?

I guess I could call it “current” since I keep meaning to work on it (and in fact am arguably supposed to be working on it at this very moment), but the most active thing I have is a project that began as an FiM/Attack on Titan crossover I first outlined six or seven years ago, and which I’ve now converted to be fully original in all respects. I still have that instinct, by the way, the one that led to what exists of Harmony: find a new property I enjoy, and immediately start workshopping in my head what the horse AU/crossover version of it would be like. (On that note, and apropos my most recent game completion, it’s deeply annoying that a pony version of Persona 5 would actually work really well.)

Anyway, progress is very slow on the original project, because if I’m honest with myself, I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted/clinically depressed from a year wasted grinding through freelance work alone without any extracurricular activities or travel at all, when I was supposed to be in Los Angeles taking the first steps towards a career that would’ve given me purpose and kept me from stagnating in exactly the way 2020 forced everyone to. But once I do get going on it, I’m really excited to see if I can simultaneously make “magicpunk” a thing and work a layered critique of capitalism and neoliberalism into a young-adult novel trilogy. Y’know, exactly what every Gen Z teen wants to read.

Tell us about what you’re most looking forward to writing – in your current project, or a future project

I’m most looking to writing, in general--or I guess, wanting to write, or do anything but painstakingly produce legal website copy and then stare at the ceiling wondering whether I can apply the same loosened-by-2020 standards to suicidal ideation as I’ve been applying to functional alcoholism. A three-drink minimum each night and a general annoyance at the monotonous hassle of remaining alive is fine, right? We’re all doing that, right? Extremely normal stuff.

Christ, this started off bleak. The rest of this is gonna suck less to read, pinky promise.

What is that one scene that you’ve always wanted to write but can’t be arsed to write all of the set-up and context it would need? (consider this permission to write it and/or share it anyway)

There are a few answers I could give to this question, so I’m gonna hedge my bets and share three in particular. First, the sequel to Harmony (lol) would’ve been from a Big Daddy’s perspective à la Bioshock 2, and there would’ve been a really cool subplot revolving around Rarity’s rehabilitation from being a splicer, and the complicated relationship she and the main character had with no-longer-Little-Sister Sweetie Belle.

Second, the very end of a Celestia’s Angels series (LOL) would’ve sent Sunset to the past to watch and participate in Celestia’s ascension and Luna’s banishment, Twilight to the alternate present/the canon show, and Starlight to the apocalyptic future where only a thin strip of twilit land is habitable thanks to the sun and moon becoming mostly locked in one place. At the very end, three versions of Discord (evil and pulling the strings, neutral and bemused by the ponies’ attempt to control things, good and mournful about his role in the world ending) would’ve given the same “there’s nothing you can do to change this” speech verbatim to all three characters at the same time in the story, switching perspectives and tones for each world he was witnessing. It would’ve been dope.

Finally, I almost wrote a OG-Japanese-Battle-Royale/FiM crossover (just imagine a bitcrushed, bass-boosted “LOL” here) fic once, but with what I still think would’ve been an incredibly unique central conceit: namely, that I wouldn’t know in advance how each individual chapter would end or who would end up dying or winning. Features included:

  • A roster of 30 characters (mostly canon aged-up Ponyville kids circa Season 3 or 4-ish, plus some background show sprites with original personalities) with pre-established relationships and traits (i.e. good/evil/could be swayed either way depending on story events, and fighter/explorer/runner with regard to what they’d do in a Battle Royale situation)
  • A system where the roll of an RNG would decide which characters appeared in each chapter, how many total deaths would occur in that chapter, and which of the featured characters specifically would be dead one way or another by chapter’s end
  • A “teaming” mechanic that would’ve allowed compatible-based-on-backstory characters to form groups with each other after surviving a chapter and (to a point) save each other from later RNG rolls demanding that a squadmate die
  • Weapons and tools distributed randomly among the players at the start, including a paper fan that--in addition to being a cheeky reference to the source material--would also function as consumable plot armor for the holder
  • An author mulligan for one RNG-determined death per chapter in order to try to maintain some semblance of an overarching plot (but of course, the RNG could then override the mulligan, which it did more than once during testing)
  • A corollary named after Diamond Tiara and Twist meant to ensure there was at least some shuffling of the chapter-by-chapter roster, because in the first test run the RNG selected those two as featured characters in literally over half the chapters
  • An endgame sequence automatically triggered once only 6 players remained, at which point multiple endings and additional deaths could occur depending on the ratio of fighters vs. explorers vs. runners left

I did three test runs of the system, intending to fine-tune it before its public debut as a story written one randomized chapter at a time, and honestly I think the biggest reason nothing was ever published was because the third test run ended up creating an incredible story with legitimate character arcs, twists at the right moments, and a conclusion that nicely bookended the CMC-focused prologue I’d half-drafted. Once I’d gotten that result out of it, I knew deep down that there was little chance the RNG would be so kind to me again, and I gradually lost more and more interest until the project as a whole ended up in my Gdocs graveyard. If anyone’s interested, here’s the rulesheet I wrote out for how it all would’ve worked in detail, and here’s the spreadsheet with the three test logs (plus a skeleton outline of what Run #3 would’ve looked like as a story).

Share a sentence or paragraph from your writing that you’re really proud of (explain why, if you like)

“Leaned against the door frame, with the rising moon at his back and a smile growing on his face, Chip Shot looked timeless. She could see him as he’d been and as he would be, as the little foal he’d grown up from and the strong stallion he’d soon become. If she closed her eyes she could see Apple Bloom too, grown and beautiful, young and unafraid. Times would change and rivers would run, but ponies didn’t have to and families never would. Someday Apple Bloom would grow up and go off and make a wonderful life for herself, but then, now, and always, she was her little sister and her closest friend. And that, she knew now, was something the two of them would never stop needing each other for.”

From “Far From the Tree,” and I don’t know how much I can “explain” my reasoning, per se, other than that this is the first passage that came to mind when I tried to think of a paragraph that I think I just nailed from start to finish.

(Honorable mention goes to “Snowblind,” though, when Flurry Heart uses the story’s only F-bomb to murmur “Do not fuck with my empire” to her boytoy/prey. Chills, man.)

((Comedic honorable mention goes to “Detachable,” which I sincerely hope none of you have read because it’s irredeemably bad other than this one incredible quip that the story as a whole in no way deserved: “Ten long seconds passed, and not a single cell in Twilight’s body so much as synthesized a protein.”))

What character that you’re writing do you most identify with?

This is a strangely hard one to answer, because I don’t really have any one character who I’ve written consistently enough to identify with on any real level. I really like (and I think I’m pretty good at) designing interesting characters with compelling motivations, but at the same time, I see characters as ultimately being vehicles for their stories, so once I’ve written a good take on them that I’m satisfied with, I often don’t come back to them.

(That being said… Gallus. Because he deflects with sarcasm, and he has a rough exterior but a squishy cinnamon-bun center, and he’s really insecure about his masculinity/griffon-ity but getting better about them with time and effort, and god he’s me. He’s just me. Griffon OC and all.)

What character do you have the most fun writing?

Again, the fact that I rarely write characters more than once inhibits this answer a bit, but I’d absolutely be good for six seasons and a movie of young-adult Flurry Heart being an EDM-blasting femme fatale with a suppressed hero complex and a jacket that says “BAD BITCH” on the back in sequins.

(Her mom has one too.)

What do you think are the characteristics of your personal writing style? Would others agree?

I’ve been told directly that my preternatural writing strength is dialogue, and I’d agree with that assessment. I mean, I better be good at it, with all the time I spent as a kid mouthing imaginary conversations to myself and being accused of being schizophrenic.

But also, there was one time when (I think) Aragon brought up the concept of having a single word to broadly summarize one’s writing style, and the one I came up with for myself was “intense.” My ideal dramatic piece is one you can’t bear to keep reading but also can’t tear yourself away from, and my goal in life is to produce something with a climactic soliloquy that’s 10% as good as Ned Beatty’s scene in Network.

Is what you like to write the same as what you like to read?

Extremely literally so, yes. To the point that 90% of everything I’ve ever written stems from me thinking to myself, “Well, I have to do this, because nobody else is gonna do it right.”

Are you more of a drabble or a longfic kind of writer? Pantser or plotter? Do you wish you were the other?

I have made several attempts at writing multi-chapter stories, and all but one of them failed (and that one never made it past first-draft stage, but it’ll almost definitely become an original thing one day). So I guess I have to say I’m primarily a short-story writer, which I suppose isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Regarding pa… regarding gardener vs. architect (i.e. GRRM’s significantly less stupid terms for this dynamic), I’m very much the latter. Even if I don’t have a beat-by-beat outline (and I almost always do for [attempts at] multi-chapter stories), the writing process takes a lot longer and is infinitely more frustrating for me if I don’t know at least in my head exactly where a story is going and exactly what will happen on the way there. The fact that I couldn’t settle firmly on an ending for a long time is what made “Monsters of Our Own” take almost nine months to fully draft, and it’s by the grace of God that the ending I did finally get to ended up working (imo) really, really well.

How would you describe your writing process?

Did you know that one of our main evolutionary benefits as human beings is our stamina? Because of how our sweat works and our comparative lack of body hair, we were one of the only creatures capable of hunting not only with short bursts of speed and brutality, but also by tailing prey for hours or even days until they simply keeled over from exhaustion. It’s called persistence hunting, and it allowed hunter-gatherers to kill antelope and other animals with more short-term speed without even using complicated weapons or tools.

Anyway, when it comes to writing, I’m an antelope. And I die a lot.

What do you envy in other writers?

Not being a metaphorical antelope.

Do you want your writing to be famous?

Real talk? Yeah, I do. The idea of seeing something of mine professionally published and/or filmed with my name attached to it is the core desire that’s kept me in this game. It seems like a comfortable level of fame too, because my name would be known, but often not my face. I could still be anonymous at grocery stores but lauded on panels, and every once in a while someone’s eyes would light up in recognition and I’d get to bask in the totally non-mortifying pleasure of being known.

(lol I’m so full of shit, I got recognized by randos for the first time ever at EFNW 2019 and I froze up like an antelope in the headlights of a car driven by the Rule of Three)

Do you share your writing online? (Drop a link!) Do you have projects you’ve kept just for yourself?

Does a Google Doc graveyard count as keeping projects just for myself? I’d argue it doesn’t, because all you have to do is get me drunk at a con and I’ll go through the entire three-act structure of outlines from 2014 that never went anywhere.

At what point in writing do you come up with a title?

Generally about thirty seconds before it’s submitted to FIMFic/whatever else, unless there’s a particular song I’m already thinking of as an overarching theme while drafting. See: “Snowblind,” “Zealots of Canterlot,” my upcoming autobiography entitled “Hoes Mad (x24)”.

(Yes, all 24 repetitions will be written out on the cover.)

Which is harder: titles or summaries (or tags)?

Since I come up with summaries about thirty seconds before coming up with titles (i.e. generally at 3 AM while trashed)... six of other, half-dozen of the other.

Tried anything new with your writing lately? (style, POV, genre, fandom?)

I’ve gotten into this really cool new trend lately called “not writing anything at all and instead allowing yourself to sink into quarantine depression and bleak hopelessness for the future.” The first nine months have had their ups and downs, but I reckon the sequel next year will turn things around.

Do you think readers perceive your work - or you - differently to you? What do you think would surprise your readers about your writing or your motivations?

I mean, physically speaking, I know I’m perceived differently IRL, because (to quote a friend) I look like someone who’d pick up bronies and throw them into dumpsters. In terms of who I actually am, though… I don’t know, I feel like I’m pretty consistent. I drop jokey quips and clever turns of phrase in real life too, and I’m reportedly the only person my dad’s ever met whose diction and syntax get more complicated when they’re drunk. That all seems to match up with my writing style, I reckon.

Do any of your stories have alternative versions? (plotlines that you abandoned, AUs of your own work, different characterisations?) Tell us about them.

I assume there’s an alternate universe where I actually finished my attempts at long-form fics. Probably the one where Al Gore was president. Bet that AU is cool as shit.

Actual answer, though: not really. Once my brain spits out a plot and/or character dynamic I like, it generally doesn’t change much from its original incarnation outside of minor tweaks during editing and the like.

Is there something you always find yourself repeating in your writing? (favourite verb, something you describe ‘too often’, trope you can’t get enough of?)

I mean, I’ve knowingly copied individual phrases and lines between fics more than once. I tell myself it’s just a self-referential Easter egg, but… it’s not. We all know it’s not. 

Outside of that, I had a string of several stories and story concepts where the main character could be succinctly and accurately summarized as “sarcastic OC with daddy issues.” I’ve gotten better about that in the years since, especially if you count “Snowblind” as a subversion of it.

Tell us the meta about your writing that you really want to ramble to people about (symbolism you’ve included, character or relationship development that you love, hidden references, callbacks or clues for future scenes?)

If my writing has a meta, it’s the fact that I very clearly have been writing original fiction with My Little Pony DLC skins on it for about eight years now, and you all have let me get away with it without trying to go pro for so long that it frankly qualifies as you enabling me. Shame on all of you, whose sole fault this definitely is.

What other medium do you think your story would work well as? (film, webcomic, animated series?)

I sure as shit hope it’d work in screenplay form. I suppose my Scribblefest entry for EFNW 2019 bodes well in that regard, but y’know… gotta get out to LA and really find out at some point. When the world stops ending and all.

Do you reread your old works? How do you feel about them?

Yes, to the point that it maybe counts as diagnosable narcissism. But fuck it, my shit rocks, and I can get hyped by “Monsters of Our Own” or laugh at “Plural Possessive” or get melancholy over “Zealots” and “The Sum of Our Parts” any day of the week.

(We don’t talk about In Tooth and Mane, though. Either version of it.)

What’s the story idea you’ve had in your head for the longest?

In some form or another, that accolade has to go to what was once supposed to be Firestarters (the long-form draft that I actually finished at the end of 2015). The genesis of what became that story was (what I didn’t know at the time was) an AU/sequel/something-or-other of The Incredibles, which for some reason I absolutely hated when I was 10 and thought I could do a way better job of reworking. Some things I said earlier in this should make even more sense now, by the way.

Anyway, my dumb AU about Dash and his OC friends getting cooler superpowers eventually became an “original” YA concept about cool teens getting superpowers, which eventually became an FiM fic concept about the CMC and friends getting cool superpowers (with a few plot elements from the first original series concept carried over), which I have a first draft of Book 1 of languishing in my Google Drive, and which will someday be fully adapted into its ostensibly final form of an original “trilogy of trilogies” about cool kids getting cool superpowers and using them to do a cool metaphorical critique of the America superhero mythos. Once again, you should be detecting something of a theme here.

Would you say your writing has changed over time?

Absolutely, but I’m on the fence about whether it’s been ultimately for the better or for the worse. In terms of technical skill, I’ve improved so much over the past ten years that my really old stuff is virtually unrecognizable next to my most recent stuff. But in terms of how I write, in terms of passion without any reservations and the near-orgasmic tingle I’d get in my chest when a new idea exploded inside my head… I don’t know. 

The summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I pumped out thousands of words a day and couldn’t wait to check my email every day to see if I got a new comment on Fanfiction.Net. Now, I’m 27 years old, unquestionably at the peak of my abilities compared to what I’ve produced previously… and the idea of sitting down to write just feels wrong, somehow. There’s nothing that gets my heart going right now, no adventure in real life or fiction that makes me want to drop everything and hunch over a keyboard until I can read and reread my version of it for myself.

Obviously, the events of this year have made everything harder, so it’s likely not truly as bad as it feels at this moment in time. And even after having my cross-country road trip and life-redefining career change ripped away from me by a once-in-a-century pandemic, and while having nothing to distract myself with but fresh news every day of full-throated fascism's rise in the United States, I still manage to work enough to not worry about food or rent, and that’s a good and impressive achievement whether I want to admit it to myself or not.

But even before this year, I haven’t been able to fully rekindle the spark, I guess, that got me into writing as a kid since 2015--since I really fell into depression head-first, and never completely got back out. I can produce writing occasionally, and I can do it really, really well. I just hope that when I finally do make it out west, some of the spark really starts to come back.

What part of writing is the most fun?

The babes, obviously. And the navel-gazing.

Actually, just the navel-gazing. It’s the thing I’m best at most of all.

:heart:

Report Aquaman · 431 views ·
Comments ( 9 )

young-adult Flurry Heart being an EDM-blasting femme fatale with a suppressed hero complex and a jacket that says “BAD BITCH” on the back in sequins

derpicdn.net/img/view/2016/11/30/1306497.png

Glad to see you're still kicking, bruv. Stay awesome.

5415063
I copied this text in order to quote it down here in a comment and ask why it wasn't a thing yet, and here you are already beating me to it. So it's clearly a thing in drawing form, but I still have to ask why the hell it isn't a thing in story form.

I’m 27 years old, unquestionably at the peak of my abilities compared to what I’ve produced previously… and the idea of sitting down to write just feels wrong, somehow.

I will add that I feel this on a spiritual level, and I hate it.

Glad to see you're still around. I've missed chatting with you but as we both know, depression's an ass and pandemic etc etc.

So just, glad you're still here is what I'm trying to say.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

you poor, sweet babbo :( you deserve hugs, and no one can have them rn, sux bruh

Okay, but tell me more about this "magicpunk".

Good luck! I hope things do work out for you out west, or before.

I mean, physically speaking, I know I’m perceived differently IRL, because (to quote a friend) I look like someone who’d pick up bronies and throw them into dumpsters.

Can confirm.

But once I do get going on it, I’m really excited to see if I can simultaneously make “magicpunk” a thing and work a layered critique of capitalism and neoliberalism into a young-adult novel trilogy.

Based. My contributions in the latter area have been more direct, of late.

RBDash47
Site Blogger

I still have that instinct, by the way ... find a new property I enjoy, and immediately start workshopping in my head what the horse AU/crossover version of it would be like.

Man, what a mood.

Well, I have to do this, because nobody else is gonna do it right.

I'm pretty sure that's the root of every fan work ever made :trixieshiftright:

Oh. So this is why I got a bunch of watches and followers last month.

Thanks babe.

Anyway, when it comes to writing, I’m an antelope. And I die a lot.

I’m going to use this line at parties.

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