Uncommon Dazzling Ships 230 members · 410 stories
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forbloodysummer
Group Admin

Each month we will be spotlighting one pairing, or suggesting a writing prompt. As you may have seen on the main page, this month's area of focus is Sonata x Twilight.

Twilight Sparkle is a princess. She's thrown herself headfirst at every problem since she was a filly, working insanely long hours and ignoring friendships, first with the goal of being a good student to Princess Celestia, and then to be a good ruler of her subjects. Sonata Dusk, on the other hand, never seems to have put effort into anything besides the odd manicure, and yet still skates on by with nice things handed to her. Really, see for yourself - in her deeds, she was no less guilty than her sisters, and yet far more stories out there focus on her being the good one of the three, morally. This is how Sonata lives her life: she does what she wants, and manipulates others into letting her get away with it, because she's clearly too cute to be evil.

So what happens when those two characters interact, without other distractions? Sonata is happier day to day, puts in far less effort, and yet gets by just fine. Who is Twilight to say she's wrong? Frame this with Sci-Twi, and it's even more apparent - nerds belong at the bottom of the high school social ladder, when Mean Girls makes clear that hot, dumb girls in the right friendship groups are at the top. Perhaps Sci-Twi tells herself that'll change after college, when she can get some high-flying job and Sonata's stuck working at Taco Bell. But then, what are the odds Sonata will marry rich?

I mention this angle because some of the more conventional approaches, like personal chemistry, aren't so likely to work with this one. It's hard to imagine a joke they'd both enjoy, for example, or a favourite book they'd have in common. This one might take some creative thinking.

What would someone smart enough to hack the timing of an inter-dimensional portal see in a person too dumb to understand sarcasm? What would someone who rocks that off-the-shoulder top at the Battle of the Bands see in someone with the fashion sense of Twilight Sparkle? Here's a well-regarded sample of the ship, but we need you to write more! Maybe they meet at college, where the balance of life success is just on the cusp of turning towards Twilight, and Sonata needs to come to terms with that. Maybe Twilight figures Sonata would be the most cooperative siren to ask about Equestrian history (Twilight could live with half the answers being made up, if only she could work out which half). Maybe Sonata gets caught shoplifting, and Principal Celestia asks Sci-Twi to take on the futile task of explaining morality to her. Maybe Princess Twilight needs all the help she can get to defeat a trio of villains, and so looks for an ally in the member of a previous trio she thinks she could most easily guide. Maybe, ignoring what I said earlier about them liking books in common, twenty years later they find themselves in the same book club, with Sonata a rich, bored housewife, and Twilight wanting a book group to unwind with.

Artwork provided by danmakuman, with the piece further up by xp_r6.

If this is a ship you like the sound of, this thread is probably a good place to discuss it. I joined this group not just to see all the unusual siren ships in one place, but to encourage others to write more of them, so if you're thinking of writing a Sonata x Twilight story or have one in the works already, by all means let us know in the thread below. Or just discuss the ship: what you like about it and why, what problems you've encountered with it before, what scenarios you can envision for the two of them. Just talking about it like that can inspire others with new story ideas, some of which might get written down, at which point we all benefit :twilightsmile:

I actually wrote a Sonata/Sci-Twi as the third installment of my Rulesverse series: Rules of Hospitality. Admittedly, you'd have to read the other two to understand most of the plot since it's wrapping up a thread that was laid out in the first story, but the actually stories aren't all that long.

I really like Sonata as a character, but rather than take the tack of Sonata skating off of her bad deeds through cuteness, instead, I approach from a completely different angle, which I don't really want to spoil here. If anyone is interested, feel free to follow the link. the SciNata story is Rated T, but as a fair warning: Rules of Engagement and Rules of Etiquette are both Rated M.

7207359
One of the reasons I lurk in this group instead of simply leaving is simple laziness. It would be effort to leave rather than stay. That said, one of the other reasons is holding out for stuff like this. Most of what comes down the pipes simply aren't my cup of tea.

When it comes to Equestria Girls, the overwhelming majority of creative effort from the fandom goes towards pushing Twilight with Sunset Shimmer. One of the canon crimes of Equestria Girls is not running harder with the great creations they came up with in the Sirens. While this month's ship suffers from many of the same problems of others in the past, this one definitely feels like it "counts" as an uncommon pairing. It would seriously take some work to write a compelling romance between these two.

Like all the Sirens, with a slight nod towards Adagio, we don't really have any solid character to work with. On the plus side, you could shape your Sonata however you like. On the negative side, your version of Sonata probably won't match up with your readers' version.

There is a large disparity in the level of characterization in canon for the two characters. Which, if we're being fair, puts Sonata in the same category as Flash Sentry as worthy romantic interests for Twilight "the Main Main Character" Sparkle. She may get a pass from some (like me) for being female, cute, and not shoehorned in by the show as a cardboard cutout generic love interest the way Flash was. But she is cardboard.

That said, I think learning about Equestria's history from an ancient being who lived it firsthand, as well as perhaps a thousand years of "earth" history from the same perspective would be an obvious draw between the two characters. At least a draw from Twilight towards Sonata. You'd have to build up Sonata's character in order to explain what draws her to Twilight.

In some ways, it's an uncommon pairing the way TwiPie is uncommon. It's plainly obvious at times that Twilight tolerates Pinkie rather than is deeply friends with her. Sure, you could write about Pinkie's more responsible side and/or Twilight's kinder, less cynical side. With Sonata we don't have evidence she has a responsible side but you could give her one. You'd be missing the bonds of friendship that Pinkie and Twilight share though. With Sonata being evil, it seems even more likely that Twilight would treat her the way she treats Trixie or Discord: coldly.

This is indeed a pairing with a lot of hurdles to overcome. It's pretty plain to see why this ship is so uncommon. I'm not sure I'd trust most writers to do a good job with it. There isn't a lot to inspire writers to make the high effort it would take to do it well.

But blue and purple is a superior combination.

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

7209221 Thanks for saying!

I think, if I'm reading this right, I see why so many of the pairings suggested here aren't your thing. If this is the kind of pairing required to count, as you say, as uncommon, then yes, I totally agree, pretty much none of those suggested before would count. This is definitely the wildest wildcard we've done. I think you're absolutely right to say you wouldn't trust many writers to do a good job with it, and also that there isn't a lot to inspire writers to push hard with it and exceed expectations. I'm also not sure how many would want to read it, even if the fimfiction rating bar was all green.

That's why we suggest the pairings we do here, in theory. They should inspire people to want to see those characters together, to want to read and write it. So I vet the pairings through a few personal criteria, and with that try to make sure it's something I'd at least be interested in. Let's call them compatibility, spark and obstacles.

Compatibility is the biggest one for me. Some pairings (RariJack, for example) might make wonderful short-term relationships, or a passionate few nights together, but have big problems hanging over the idea of their long-term future. And that's great for a short-term relationship story. I firmly believe that a relationship that ends is not necessarily one that's failed. But, if the two characters do get a shot at an Ever After, I'd like it to be a Happily one, and so I avoid those pairings.

I'm sure there are people reading and not seeing the obstacles to long-term happiness here, so:

Take FlutterDash. One of the most popular ships in the fandom (the group has 1,300 stories to AppleDash's 800 and RariJack's 500). And I love the thought that their bond is a little closer than that of most of the rest of the mane six, because they grew up together, and because Rainbow has always looked out for Flutters. More like sisters, in a way.

But imagine if they hooked up and stayed together forever. Every single day, for the rest of their lives, every time Rainbow spoke to Fluttershy she'd have to exercise some self-control. Don't be too loud, don't be too callous, don't be too self-centred, because Fluttershy. And Fluttershy, likewise, would have to hold herself back from every response with trying not to be drowned out, or hurt, or take it personally, because it's Rainbow Dash and she's just like that.

Every single day. For the rest of their lives.

That might be a strong bond, it might be a supportive family, a hot couple between the sheets, whatever. But it's really not a happy relationship. While they might be happy to have each other, if they can't be open with each other and have to suppress their responses, then they don't really have themselves.

In siren terms, a comparable example might be AppleDazzle. Applejack loves her home. She wants to stay there on her farm with her family, content to be doing the same thing at 80 that she was at 8. Adagio, on the other hand, is always pushing to be more, to expand what she has and is. That Apple notion of keeping things unchanged, passing things from one generation to the next like they're living in the Shire, is completely foreign to Adagio. And Applejack, I don't doubt, would question why anyone would want to move onto something new, unless they were unhappy with what they already had. That's not the kind of difference that can be overcome with a meaningful talk, because of the great big real-world consequences for their future. It's the kind of thing that means at least one side will have to compromise their entire life for the two of them to stand any chance of building a life together.

It's the kind of difference in principles that I think would make mutual respect quite difficult.

There are a couple of really good Adagio x Applejack stories out there, which do a great job of selling the two ending up in a close situation together. But I never bought the idea of either relationship lasting more than a few months.

Of course, most of the things said about Adagio there would apply just as much to Rarity. So with Adagio, you can also throw in that she's evil, and all the problems that go along with that.

So that causes big issues for a few potential mane six x siren pairings. These are the ones you look at and think 'no way.'

Then there's the idea of spark, or something comparable to chemistry. I really hate the idea of 'opposites attract,' but it does often make for a much more dramatic story than a relationship between two very similar characters. But even then, there's got to be a certain amount or type of opposite for that to work. Adagio and Rainbow, for example, can work wonderfully as rivals, even though they're very different and unlikely to have any mutual respect. Whereas Adagio and Pinkie are very different, but not in a way that lends itself to explosive outbursts of feelings. If Adagio and Rainbow were set up on a blind coffee date, then they might spend the whole time arguing, but they'd at least have things to talk about. Adagio and Pinkie would be mostly just awkward silence and pleasantries.

So some pairings are too different to coexist smoothly, but not different enough in the right way to provide dramatic friction. Sonata and Rarity would be another example. These are the ones you look at and think 'huh?'

Then there are obstacles. Is there anything in a character's life that would bias them against a particular character, for no fault of that character's own? Aria x Rarity I think is a good example here. We have only one sample of that pairing here, and it's friendshipping rather than romantic (I haven't read it, but my understanding is they have more of a business relationship). Here's where I stumble with them:

Aria and Adagio have a lot in common, but they also have their differences. In the areas where they differ, Adagio is much closer to Rarity. So I think Rarity would just remind Aria of all the things about Adagio that she hates. And, in reverse, Rarity and Rainbow have a lot in common, but also have their differences, and, in the areas where they differ, Rainbow is much closer to Aria. So I think Aria would just remind Rarity of all the things about Rainbow she hates.

Even if they were able to see past those hated things, the fact remains that Aria has much more in common with Adagio than with Rarity, and Rarity with Rainbow than with Aria. So, even if they were going to ignore the things they hated in a potential partner, Aria would go for Adagio and Rarity for Rainbow. Aria ending up with Rarity there would be like they'd both missed a more obvious, sensible solution.

These are the ones you look at and think 'yeah, but....'

This group has been around for quite a while now, doing a featured pairing every two months. We've been through most of the obvious solid matches, and we're getting into the ones now that are harder to sell. But there are some that I can't see us ever doing (in a reciprocal romantic or friendship sense). Off the top of my head:

Adagio x Applejack
Adagio x Pinkie
Aria x Pinkie
Aria x Twilight
Aria x Rarity
Sonata x Rarity
Sonata x Applejack

I absolutely encourage you and anyone else doing the same to keep lurking until you see something you like the look of! It doesn't really cost you anything, and it's always lovely when people do want to come into the discussion for the bits they do like to focus on. And I hope you're happy to stay, because every single time you've posted in this group it's been a contribution I've appreciated and agreed with. But all the stuff above this paragraph is kind of a warning of 'ok, but if you're holding out for a lot more pairings that people have to work very hard to make convincing, it's unlikely to happen, and this is why...'

Regarding your thoughts on this pairing, I agree. And I hope someone has a shot at Twilight learning history from Sonata, because that could be really funny. I think Sci-Twi is less likely to have a moral allegiance stumbling block, so would be the better choice. But after writing the post this month, I went back and reread a scene I wrote a couple of years ago of Twilight trying to get information out of Sonata, and remembered how funny they could be. Twilight is just the right level of naive and eager to believe, and Sonata is just the right level of convincing and not even knowing if she's right or not :twilightsmile:

7209678
Don't mistake my comments of "this is what an uncommon pairing looks like" to be a minimum bar. This is more center of the lane. It's uncommon for a variety of reasons.

You're preaching to the choir for your opinions on Rarijack and Flutterdash. I put Twipie in the same category.

As you said, people can indeed write a hot steamy "angry sex" Rarijack story. If that's the kind of story you want to read or write, cool. Not my cuppa. It is, however, popular. It's easier to write because of how many interactions the two have had in EqG and FiM. It's easier to find an audience for because of everyone else seeing it on screen too. You have more to "copy."

Maybe some folks have written a "happily ever after" Rarijack. No one knows for sure what that looks like though because we see nothing of that in canon. Anyone who does write this is basically working without a net and writing original fiction. That's actually hard.

Sonata x Twilight is uncommon because of that level of difficulty. Most folks aren't skilled enough to do it well and most people aren't seeking it out.

As for the history angle: that's honestly the thing I like most about the sirens. We don't have all that much to go on for their personalities and character. The implied lore is enticing though. A story that expands on the lore of Equestria/EqG interests me. As you note, the process of presenting that lore via Sonata would be more fun than from the other two. Adagio is too "sexy" and I'd be asking why she and her girlfriend aren't in bed. Aria is too moody and standoffish and I'd be asking why she's not in a corner sulking about something. I could see Sonata bouncing from topic to topic though. She'd be shotgunning lore-bits and the effort to collect and organize them leads to a pleasing mental proto-scene. Twilight seems like a great candidate for doing that. So there is already a (not necessarily romantic) element to give the story entertainment value.

you could have it Twilight wants to know more about sirens but books don't say much about them, so she goes too the 3 sisters, hoping that they forgave her and help her, but 2 of them want nothing to do with her, Sonata on the other hand helps not because she forgave Twi, but because she wants to feel wanted, as her sisters always put her down, so she uses Twilight to feel like she has someone who cares, the 2 slowly become friends, and Twi's questions become less and less about sirens and more about Sonata

also you could, Sonata does not need to be dumb, you could have it people think she's dumb because the way she speaks her mind and that she does not get sarcasm, and Twi learns that Sonata shares same interest as her and she might be the smartest of the 3

and some tweaks this could be Sci-Twi instead for her wanting to know more about magic

i would say Sonata is evil at first, but her wanting to be liked and understood is what turns her to the good side in this

"sorry read this and thought of this idea, and had to put it down"

Must the story be standalone? I might have an idea for a Sparkling Dusk (my ship name for them, trademarked) but it would take place in the same universe as "Bellesitter/Dazzling Crusaders"

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

7215693 Please don't ever apologise for that, that's exactly what this group is for! I'm really happy to hear reading things here gave you ideas, and hope those ideas manage to become stories someday :twilightsmile:

Sonata on the other hand helps not because she forgave Twi, but because she wants to feel wanted, as her sisters always put her down

I really like this idea. Lots of people write about Sonata leaving her sisters because they're unkind, which I never really bought as she's been with them so long already. But it's an interesting thought that she prefers being elsewhere because she's useless to Adagio and Aria. And that might be something brought out more recently - at least in the past, though Sonata might have been useless for planning, she at least helped out with the singing. Whereas now there isn't much she can contribute intellectually.

I see your account has no stories listed, do you think you'd ever give writing one a try?

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

7215699 Hey, it can be whatever you want it to be, it's not like we're paying anyone or giving out prizes :trollestia:

I've veered back and forth on whether interconnected stories are better or worse for views. The thought is usually that making a story be connected to one that's already popular will bring in a bigger audience for the new one too. But I've found that listing anything as having or being a prequel or sequel, or existing in the same universe as another story, reduces the readers. Even when you say that reading the other stories is unnecessary, people still often think it's better if you do. So they put the first of the sequence in their Read It Later, and forget about the whole thing.

So, whatever you think best!

7215998
thanks X3

that's true, and would work if Twi has to help her as she feels useless now that she can't sing

I don't do stories, i get ideas all the time, you should see some of the Zootopia ideas i had but i can't wright them, there too short, the characters wrong, and the same, but used to help someone edit his stories, and help with his ideas,

oddly the idea I put here was a different Sonata x Twilight idea i had, where Twi was born a princess and Sonata is still a siren as well as her sisters, got the idea off I-A-M's how kisses work for sirens, also had Twilight born a princess, as i thought it be fun picturing Sonata has to meat Twi's parents and trying to act like a pony, or human, witch ever Twi was and trying that Twi seeking onto the water

7216007
I see, interesting way to look at it. I have a newfound respect for series/verses XD

I'll see what I can do. Thanks again :)

7215998

i might of thought of an ending if it was Sci-Twi, got some of the idea off what you said

one very late school night Twilight gets woken up because someone was at her door, answering it she finds Sonata and one of her very tired sisters Aria, Aria just pushes Sonata in saying "she's your problem now" and walks off, Twi too tired to care lets Sonata in and spend the night, having her sleep with her as she just wants to go too sleep, the next morning Twi wakes seeing nothing but blue, she tries to move back something is holding her there, panicking she wakes Sonata up, letting Twi go and Twi falling out of bed, Sonata blushing and apologises in embarrassment, Twi betting up and seeing Sonata in her bed and in her pyjamas which are clearly to small for her and remembering what happened last night

after getting ready Twi finds Sonata made her breakfast, eating there breakfast finds out that Sonata can really cook, Twi tells her this also wishing she had time to ask what happened last night, but she has to go too college, telling her she talk to her later as they both leave

when she gets home, she finds Sonata outside her room with some of her stuff, it turns out she had a fight with her sisters, here i also thought of Sonata telling Twi she has feelings for a human, the fight was about Sonata falling for a human, and the other 2 not liking it, Twi tries to cheer up, but then Sonata says it does not mater anyway, as she's dumb, useless and can't sing, Twilight won't have this, and tell her that she not useless or dumb by talking about how she can cook and some of the things they talked about, then she talks about how Sonata also has the body of a super modal then talks about how she wishes she was as sexy as her and how she's just so plain, Sonata hates it when people say bad talk bad about Twi, but this is Twi, so in a panic she does the fist thing that pops into her mind, which was tell Twi off for speaking bad about her mate, which shuts her up and makes her panic more, and then does the first thing that pops into her head and kisses then which makes her panic more, so she just runs, Twi just stares trying to work out what just happened, then chases Sonata

that's all i got, part from Twi does hear Sonata sing, as it's a big part of sirens to sing to there mate, Twi does find it bad, but also beautiful, also Sonata isn't like a super modal, only Twilight sees it, but that's not to say Sonata isn't beautiful, also reading this shows why I don't write, there's so much missing, and if i did try to write this, the idea will just stop, no one will really talk, and there be so much missing and jumps, that i won't even post it

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

7216391 Every time someone replies here, I think 'I'll give it a few hours, let others chime in on the discussion so more people get involved,' and then I forget to reply and then it's many days later. Sorry about that.

I've always liked the idea that it's Sonata who cooks among the sirens. That's a good strength for her to have. I figure Adagio and Aria manage all the planning between them, so taking care of them as people is how Sonata contributes to their unit. It puts a new spin on why she's so excited about lunch in Rainbow Rocks, too. So that's definitely a good thing to include in a story, especially if she's genuinely good at it and might get a career out of that now her singing hopes are dashed.

I think with shipping stories there's a real danger of feelings coming to the forefront too soon. How long does it take you in reality to go from meeting someone to getting to know them to liking them in that way? And, while stories don't necessarily have to be realistic, you need to show the audience why the characters feel that way. And the easiest way to show that is by following the journey of it coming to happen.

So I'd say, if you were to develop this as a story, try thinking about all the different ways they can interact that would make them come to appreciate each other, rather than pitfalls they might encounter after?

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

7207662

I really like Sonata as a character, but rather than take the tack of Sonata skating off of her bad deeds through cuteness, instead, I approach from a completely different angle, which I don't really want to spoil here.

I'll be honest, I completely get not wanting to spoil a story, but I think you might have to open up a bit more about that different approach, if you're hoping it'll be a draw. Especially as the third story in a series, so potential new readers would have to get through 100k words of prequels first before they get to it :twilightoops:

7222201
That's fair.

So, short(ish) description.

Seven years after the Battle of the Bands and the loss of their powers, the Sunset Shimmer encounters the Siren Sisters running a high-end establishment called the Last Note Lounge, which features exotic dancers of all stripes, as well as a fully stocked bar. Cue intro for Sonata Dusk, bookkeeper and bartender for the Last Note. During the events of the first story: Rules of Engagement, Sunset and Twilight find their friendship fractured by argument and bad blood. Rules of Hospitality sees Twilight finding her way into an awkward but positive relationship with Sonata after Sonata offers her a barstool and a willing, unjudging ear, as well as a little advice. The story follows Twilight unpacking a lot of baggage with Sonata's help regarding her friends and family, and in the midst of that Twilight learns a lot about Sonata herself, as well as the Sirens, and the secrets of their past.

How's that?

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

7222237 So the emphasis, if I'm understanding correctly, is in Sonata's ability to listen without passing judgement? From having lived with Aria and Adagio, and trying to take over the world a couple of times?

7222200
lol it's ok X3

that was my thought

sadly I only got 1 friend in real life and never been with anyone, so i would not know this, part of the reason i don't want to write a shipping story, i don't know how people get close

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

7222509 Aw man that sucks. Give it time, I guess?

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

Draxonos135 has, with five days to go, published a story fitting this month's prompt!

You can find it here.

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

7226588 I guess at least we have the internet now, so there's an easier place to reach out to people? There's definitely something to be said for being able to hang out in real life (or I don't think anyone would bother going to Bronycon), but it's better than nothing.

7229347
there is a problem i have, my parents weren't the nicest to each other, and used to fight all the time, and sadly i seen there bad habits in me, and i would not wish that on anyone, so I'm not looking for someone

forbloodysummer
Group Admin

7229359 Fair enough! I'm way beyond any area of expertise, so I'll take your word for it.

7232604
thanks X3

well the month is other and no one made one story, that's a shame, i was hoping for at least one X3

7232653
how did i miss that one, i was looking everyday X3

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