Serious Stories 332 members · 392 stories

Tired of seeing nothing but silly stories everywhere you look? Want to read something that actually challenges you? So do we.

This group is for those of us that think there is more to writing than being entertained for a few minutes. We're talking about stories that make you think when you're doneā€”or while you're still reading. Sure, you could just read classical literature, but there are no little ponies in classics. If you want a story that still has that feeling of fulfillment but with everyone's favorite diminutive equines, check here.

Added by Bad Horse: By "serious" we mean things serious for the reader, not just for the characters in the story. We're using "serious" to mean stories that generalize - that make you think about things in real life, beyond the specific kind of things in the story. War is serious, but a war story shouldn't go here unless it's about more than war. Murder is serious, but that doesn't mean we want stories here because they have gore. Relationships are serious, but there are already shipping groups.

Being sad or serious doesn't make a Serious Story (TM). Being funny doesn't make it non-Serious. A Serious Story (as I'm using the term) is about an important, difficult, and potentially answerable question. The story must pose a question. The question must be important. The question must be difficult, not something almost everyone agrees about (unless the story takes the view opposite everyone). The question must be something possible to answer, not something vague like "relationship issues". And the question must be the main thing the story is about.

If the story takes a stance that no one disagrees with--like, "War is bad"--it may be serious, but it isn't interesting and doesn't belong here. If the story discusses something serious, like the importance of regular exercise, but its focus isn't on a difficult question about exercise, or if the question is a technical one like "How many beats per minute should my pulse be while I exercise?", then it doesn't belong here.

That question must be what the story is obviously about. Don't add your twenty-chapter epic adventure because your characters confront a tricky moral dilemma in chapter seven. I'll delete long, multi-chapter adventure fics from Main on sight unless they have a comment in the Nominations thread explaining why they belong. Eternal and Fallout Equestria are long adventure stories that could belong here, but they are the rare exceptions.

A Serious Story may make a logical or emotional argument about a serious issue. The grand inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov makes a logical argument why Jesus is evil and the Church must follow Satan instead. Jesus makes an emotional argument when he says nothing in reply, but kisses the inquisitor on the lips. The ending is ambiguous. That's a Serious Story.

Shipping doesn't make something Serious. Relationships are serious, but more open-ended Happily Ever After is an example of a Serious shipping story:

There is a special folder, "Meditations", for stories that are about confronting at a serious issue, but don't pose a specific question or offer any answers.

Please read the thread Why are we here? before adding to the group, and only add stories that have at least 10 votes, and at least 6 thumbs-up per thumbs down (without rounding off). Add them to the "Main" folder. "Main" is a dumping-ground for stories people have added that they hope are appropriate here.

Contributors may move stories from "Main" into topical folders. Being in a folder other than Main means some contributor has given a story their stamp of approval. IF YOU WANT SOMEONE TO DO THIS, comment in the "Nominations" thread, give the name of your story, a link to your story IN YOUR COMMENT (don't make the contributor go search thru Main for it), say which specific folder or folders it should go into, and give an explanation of why you think it's serious and why it fits the subfolders you listed.

If your story has been deleted from Main, a moderator saw it and decided it did not belong. Don't add it back. You can comment in Nominations with your argument why it belongs in the group, if you haven't done so already. Don't do that if you haven't got 6 times as many upvotes as downvotes, because that's a rule, so you'll fail, and you won't get another chance. (This is not EqD. You only get one strike.)

If you see a story that you think doesn't belong, add it to Trash - Contributors (if you're a contributor) or Trash - Users (if you're not). An admin will eventually come along and decide whether to remove it.

Comments ( 28 )
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Could I get a second opinion on a recent fanfiction I wrote? The story is one of my personal best works, but because the fandom generally doesn't like the characters I used, it has been turned into a joke. It's called "Flower's" (the comma is intentional), and it centers around the themes of polygamous relationships, fate, and suicide. I'm curious if one of you could check it out, and see if you are willing to make an exception in your "rubbish" filter. It would be very kind of you if you could make that happen.
:trollestia:
--TheRussianBrony

RBDash47
Site Blogger

Just dropping by to abuse the Meditations folder again. Cheers!

I'm working on a story, 'Our Girl Scootaloo', that tries to come up with a serious answer to 'what would actually happen to a pony in our world', but I honestly don't know if it's appropriate for this group.
Lots of human crossover story's take on emotional issues, but I have yet to see one that takes a serious look at the hard scientific and logistical questions that would actually result. As an example, how many fics have a pegasus taking to the sky on earth without training or consequences? What happens when they get lost in the clouds? (Chapter 3) Can they recognise and avoid power lines? Cell phone towers? How about No Fly zones?
And as to scientific questions, what the heck is a pegasus? An evolved life form? A designed life form? And if designed, then how? By who? For what purpose? Do any of us think a crossover could really happen without people asking these very basic questions?
This is my attempt to take this on. Ultimately though, I don't get to decide if I succeeded in a serious analysis of this topic. I would really appreciate any reviews or comments, good, bad or indifferent to help improve my writing.

Thanks,

Cozy Mark IV

Hello everybody,
I recommend taking a look at my story Spike the Knight.
It is an action adventure story with Spike as the main character.
Hope you enjoy.

295824 292722 295255 292724293057
I haven't been doing any moderation. Looking at the things in the folder now, I see a lot of stuff that doesn't belong. So, we do need gatekeepers and moderation.

I'ma go make some people contributors now, based on my past interactions with them. Anyone can add stuff to Main, but only a contributor can move it into a sub-folder.

I'll make you a contributor if you write comments in this group that indicate you share a similar vision about what the group is for.

RBDash47
Site Blogger

297171
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a derp." - apologies to Napoleon Bonaparte

297142

As a great man once said: Derp!

RBDash47
Site Blogger

295675
I think you meant the Vault - doesn't mean much to have your stories in the Archive, anyone can do that. :rainbowwild: My bad for not coming up with more creative names, though...

I'll second 295675 's posting. Writing On The Wall, and its discussion in the comments section, immediately sent me off on some webcrawling for further reading on the spoilered reveal, and I don't think there's any higher expression of "this story made you think about things in real life" than that.

I'm the one who added Pinkie Plural, so direct all criticism here.

That having been said, an unrelated note on the restlessness below (295255 294851 etc.):

"Serious" is clearly an overloaded word. The discussion of what stories people want to see here was illuminating, but inconclusive. The guidelines in the group description are similarly ambiguous. Currently, the idea of "serious" here is akin to whether to classify something as pornography: a de facto community standard that's being applied retroactively once the work comes to our attention. This is fine for categorization purposes, but incoherent as a story-finding approach.

I submit that one or both of the following will be necessary if this group wants to meaningfully survive:

1) More aggressive moderation, i.e. allowing story adds only from a few gatekeepers with general agreement and a well-stated policy on standards, and then having people with suggestions submit them via comments for a moderator to approve/reject.

2) An unambiguous declaration of standards, choosing one side of the "what makes a story serious" debate and coming down hard on it. Rewriting the group description to reflect that choice, and pruning stories that don't meet those standards. (Speaking of, why is Fluttering Insanity still here? It doesn't even meet the existing posted rules.)

Are one of the group leaders willing to do this? If so, let's make this work. If not, let's call this a noble, failed experiment, and regroup elsewhere.

I know it seems lame to add my own stuff, but hear me out. Both of my stories here have run on Equestria Daily. One is in the Pony Fiction Archive, and the other will be when the lineup moves. In "The Savage Way"'s comment section, people were disagreeing over which of the two characters was at fault, and talking about what they would do in that story's situation. Readers of "The Writing on the Wall" described it as "haunting," and quite a few said it made them think seriously about [ending spoiler redacted].

If that doesn't qualify them, I don't know what will.

295110

There definitely needs to be moderation in this group. As it is, it's just a group for people to dump their stories and get a slight ego-boost. Not much point staying, the way this group is going.

Yeah, "Fluttering Insanity" does not belong here. Period.

This really isn't working. Users seem to think this is a dumping ground for stories they want taken seriously.
I'm out. I'll stick to reading your blog posts, Bad Horse. Best of luck to all of you.

293263
It is and isn't. It could seem like clop because the depth of emotion has not been seen. Nor the value to the reader in self-evaluation. But, I feel there are signs already that what I am writing is not just clop. If it were, my set up is terrible. Which, as one person from here has said, may be part of the poor response. People reading what I wrote expecting instant clop gratification have been disappointed. It's not a glorification of sex, it's more of an observation. I'm not saying that what I'm doing isn't clop. But I do aim to have the most intelligent, serious and thoughtful clop ever written.

tl;dr: I learned my lesson, and I won't add anything here till I can be proud of it's quality as a meaningful narrative.

293259 If at all possible, have at least the setup of serious events and thought triggers going on in the story as you add it. If it is as you say, pretty much just clop so far, then by all means, keep it away from here until you believe it satisfactory.

293253
Sorry... I did take it a bit personal. I'll admit, I was a bit stressed by this. I'm working to make something that is... well, clop... yet also serious and intelligent. Having only a bit I wrote in writing prompts is leaving me with polarized responses... some love the concept, some enjoy bits of how I write... some recognize that it's just a couple prompts that seem spit out at best (they were spit out, they were time challenges.) I am glad that you apologized... and I take back my low blow. I will return, though, with something that does belong here.

293228
Fair enough. I've become accustomed to dealing with unabashedly shallow, stubborn users lately, and although that may explain my tone, it does not excuse it. I apologize for my callousness.

>nor a site contributor
Low blow, man. Low blow.

293227

Your comment on my page was seemed mostly considerate, and I responded as soon as I was able. You will see it is now down. Your comment here is far less considerate. My story aims to be serious... but at this stage now, I imagine it seems little more than clop. I have no problem taking it down, even though you are not a group admin nor a site contributor. You are at least a little bit in the right, and that bit is reason to do as you requested.

Looks like gale-wind added one of his crappy clopfics.
Oh, and now we've got something from a user who joined yesterday. Joy.

Time for submission restrictions, I think.

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