• Member Since 24th Feb, 2013
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Xepher


I don't write, so much as I perform acts of high-wire fiction without a net. Come watch me fall! I believe in narrative coincidence, the transcendent power of hopeful creativity, and the Oxford Comma.

T

Celestia must deal with sick and dying changelings showing up in Canterlot, and writes for help.

This story took 3rd place in the Iron Author contest at Everfree Northwest 2013, and was originally written in less than two hours.

The first chapter contains a revised/edited version, and the second chapter is the original text, exactly as submitted/judged (typos and all.) See the author's notes at the end of the story for the contest rules (as the contest-provided theme is a slight spoiler for the story.)

Chapters (2)
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Comments ( 27 )

I'm a sucker:

For happy changeling stories. Nicely done! :pinkiehappy:

Mike

2852292

Thanks! I've always felt the key themes in Pony was redemption. Every enemy is just a misunderstood friend. I'm just really glad something I had to smash out in two hours can at all reflect that ideal. :twilightsmile:

Nice, it's always wonderful to see a motherly side to Chrysalis. A side that let's her go through anything for her children.

2852326

Indeed. Someday I want to write a fic with a fully reformed, loving Chrysalis and her hive. My only problem would be power escalation on that scale removing all narrative conflict. I mean, is there anything you couldn't accomplish with an entire changeling hive AND the power of friendship on the same side of a fight? :trollestia:

:pinkiehappy: I'm the cure! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Just read yon Revised version!

SWEET CADANCE DOES BEING ABLE TO SEE THE PROSE HELP SO MUCH OR WHAT. This is some well-flowing prose you've got here, now that I'm able to see it. It's easy to read with few blocks of text and good separation of ideas.

That said, yeah, it's far from perfect. I spotted a change from past to present tense which didn't belong, some typos (hey, 2 hours!) and, well, uh, I know you and I love our parentheses, but rarely have I ever see tham have a proper place in prose. Especially when there are so many easy ways to reword things so that you're not cutting off sentences at the knees. :pinkiesmile: If you ever plan to go back to this, there are definitely areas ripe for self-teaching.

That said, what you do have a handle on are characters, and well-done characters can absolutely carry prose that isn't super-shiny. As I told you at the con, your Shining sings, and I love your Celestia and Chrysalis as well. Keep writing and smoothing out your prose technique while keeping up this level of characterization, and you'll go far.

Congrats on the 3rd, dude! You totes earned it. :twilightsmile:

2856553

Thanks, I really appreciate the comments. I know I need to reign in my interjections (parentheticals, em-dash interruptions, ellipses, etc.) but I think part of my problem is that my mind actually thinks in that sort of nested, multi-threaded fashion. I blame Terry Pratchett and his infamous footnotes. :derpytongue2:

As for the present/past tense... I think you're talking about a piece of Chrysallis' internal monologue. If so, then I definitely struggled with how to phrase that there, as it sounds wrong for a character to "think" in past tense, even though it's not quoted dialogue, yet the change in verb tense doesn't scan quite right either. (If it's somewhere else you're talking about, then it's just me derping it up.)

But yeah, definitely a lot of things I can work on as I write longer (and less rushed) stories in the future. This one is probably just going to stay as is though, if I try to stare at it any longer my head is likely to implode.

Strongly agree with Bookish--this works out much better on screen. There are several sections and connections that I missed entirely on the read-aloud, like the whole of exactly why Celestia laughed. It holds up much, much better now!

If I were to make a suggestion, it would be this: see if you can drag out Chryssy's agony for an extra sentence or two each time it comes up. Make her shift from hoof to hoof, work her jaw like she's having trouble even starting the sentence, get loving with the description of her physically demonstrating how much she dislikes admitting the hive's weaknesses and that they are healed by laughter. Every admission should be something she bodily drags out of herself against the sucking swamp of her own pride.

In any case, well done, congrats on the bronze, and good hunting next year! :pinkiehappy:

In the future I recommend only posting the revised version. The reason is that some people might not want to view both but want to favorite it but not have it permanently on their favorites unread list. They could click the button to mark as read or load the page but some people with find that annoying.

2864366

I'll keep that in mind next time. Generally speaking, I'd much rather not show off my grammatical and spelling failures. :twilightblush: It just felt essential to the spirit of the contest in this one case. Rest assured I won't be making a habit of it though. :scootangel:

2866417

True, for a contest entry it is cool.

This was such an enjoyable story to read and listen to. Perfect ending.

the post box at 1372 Secret Changeling Base, The Hollowed Out Volcano.

I'm sure your post box wasn't the only thing to give away your secret base.:trollestia:

i45.photobucket.com/albums/f67/larry994/DulceSign.jpg

2950638 Heh, the saucer and alien logos are a nice touch. Reminds me of this one I saw years ago.
i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll44/Flojo2111/Motivational%20Posters/1163806117427mz1.jpg

Anyway, glad you enjoyed the story, and thanks for the favorite on it.

I'm glad I found this again.

2974311 Glad you liked it, and (as I've said elsewhere) thanks again for all the compliments and advice you offered at Everfree. It was quite nifty to just shooting the breeze with you and Piquo at the con. I'm working on two new stories now, but it's odd getting to actually THINK before typing. :-P

Also, yeah, we made a group for all the entrants... there were about 20+ at Everfree... yet only 4 are in the group. If you come across more, tell them to submit their tales.

Two hours. Goodness, but some people can write in this English stuff!

the post box at 1372 Secret Changeling Base, The Hollowed Out Volcano.

I lost it here.

"Argh! Fine!" The Queen shouted.. "It needs laughter, okay? We eat love, but for medicine we need laughter."

:pinkiehappy: Laughter you say?

Smiling, she looked at Chrysalis and said, "I think I know just the pony."

Called it.

This was a great story.

Personally, I'd love to see the interactions between Pinkie and the changelings, as well; that seems like a fun dynamic.

3336750 Yeah, they can. I just didn't realize I was one of them. I hadn't written a proper story in several years when I went to Everfree in July, and I'd never written pony. But, open contest, I figured it'd be good exercise at the very least. Still kind of surprised I placed. Though, not as surprised as I am right now that Three Wishes (my first "real" pony story) is currently #2 in the feature box and has been there most of the day. I have no words, so I'll let Pinkie demonstrate my emotional gamut for the day.
:pinkiesmile::pinkiesmile::pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiegasp::pinkiegasp::pinkiegasp:

3336984 I'm glad to hear the humor worked like I expected. It's always difficult to thread in certain types of jokes without giving away too much, or having them feel out of place to readers that' don't get it.

As for "more." Yeah, I've got a back-burner set of ideas I want to explore from this story in sequel form. I'm not promising anything, but it's definitely in my thoughts to try and revisit this version of Equestria at some point.

1372 Secret Changeling Base? Geez! I live at 1374 Secret Changeling Base, no wonder I got it dirt cheep!:rainbowderp:
And I thought all your Secret Changeling Base are belong to us.


Great Story!

3413839>>3336984 I have to admit that the joke there was borrowed from Top Gear. There's an episode that I cannot currently find, where Richard Hammond is describing a super car, saying it looks like it belongs to someone whose address is "Number 3, the hollowed-out volcano."

Anyway, glad you liked the story!

2852307

I've always felt the key themes in Pony was redemption. Every enemy is just a misunderstood friend.

THIS! THIS IS THE FREAKING REASON I WATCH MY LITTLE PONY! :pinkiehappy:

I'm completely sick of movies/cartoons where the protagonists execute the villains with smiles on their "heroic" faces (worst example: Kung Fu Panda.). I almost always feel bad for villains, especially when we learn their back-stories.

(hm... I hope Sombra will not turn out to be dead, or I'll be very angry :flutterrage:)

Not bad for a quickly written contest piece. Loved the ending.

4674527 Thanks... I feel really lucky that this particular idea came to me so quickly during the contest. I don't think I've ever written something so short before, but this one "fit."

Good idea, and quite well written. Makes one wonder what other emotion-powered devices they have.

Just move the hive underneath Ponyville, put the spire in the Sugarcube Corner and the changelings ate set for life.

Very nice story.

Cya
Raziel-chan

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