• Member Since 14th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen 7 minutes ago

Chris


Author, former Royal Canterlot Library curator, and the (retired) reviewer at One Man's Pony Ramblings.

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Comments ( 65 )

Despite the fact that the Crystal Heart Spell touched upon Cadances acension, i must say I'm thoroughly pleased to see a fan interpretation

This is just like a fairytale. Very beautiful.

This is beautiful. I hope it makes it to the feature box, so many people can read of it.

Very nice. I thought the writing style, especially whenever Cadance sang, sounded a lot like other authors. It was a nice touch. :pinkiesmile:

I think maybe a little more covering the ascension itself would be nice, but I know that's a stylistic choice, so don't feel pressured or anything. Beautifully written either way, and faved with a vengeance.:raritystarry:

I knew there was a reason I followed you. Thanks ever so much for the story.

This seems oddly familiar. Like a lot of things actually. But how this was done just as well as they were is what makes it an accomplishment.

3569265

I'm glad to hear that this still worked for you; I haven't read Crystal Heart Spell, but it's reassuring to know that just going off of the show still suffices.

3569585>>3569606

Thank you both very much!

3569642

An unintentional touch, I fear I must admit. Still, I'm glad it worked for you!

3569736

I can absolutely see the appeal of having a little bit more at the end. But you're right, I did make a conscious choice to end it the way I did, and I'm happy that you also enjoyed it my way. Thanks!

3569903

You are ever so welcome! And now, at pace my last couple stories have come out, it's only another 359 days until my next fic :trollestia:

3569947

Thank you!

Woah. Chills by the end, that was beautiful.

I, also, am adding this to group: "Cadance: Devoted and Loving" always needs more stories.

Also, someone needs to draw Skywriter's attention to this sucker, stat, because it is wow kinda good.

This is . . . wonderful, truly wonderful. Chris, your works are simply a delight. :pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

I love how this reads just like a fairytale, which seems fitting given the setting and the fact that MLP:FIM opened its first episode with a storybook narrative. I could easily see this story as being an in-universe depiction of Cadence's ascension, written to let ponies know how the Princess of Love came to be. Everything within the narrative flows perfectly, and the setup itself was executed flawlessly. And the finale, simply beautiful. Well done!! :ajsmug::pinkiesmile::rainbowlaugh::raritywink::twilightsmile::yay::trollestia::moustache:

Beautiful. Need to add this to several groups, including this one:
tinyurl.com/mbho6go

(One minor nitpick: the singular of "millenia" is "millenium".)

Wasn't this covered in one of the MLP books?

Hello, feature bar! My first time there, and it feels good.

3570345

That's exactly what I hoped to hear. Thank you!

3570739>>3571111

Glad you both enjoyed, and thanks for feeling like my story merited adding!

3571188>>3571216

It always puts a smile on my face when people use the word "beautiful" to describe something I wrote. Thank you both!

3571283

Cadence's backstory is touched on in Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell. I haven't read that story, and any similarities between that accounting and this one are coincidental. This is my take on what I saw in the show--no more, no less. I hope you enjoy!

out of curiosity, did celestia raise cadence to alicornhood? that's what the story seems to imply.

3571406

It always puts a smile on my face when people use the word "beautiful" to describe something I wrote. Thank you both!

You're very welcome. :twilightsmile:

3571406

Hello, feature bar! My first time there, and it feels good.

Very cool, and the story deserves it! I'd like to think that I helped a little with that, what with adding it to a dozen different groups. :pinkiesmile:

I haven't read the Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, but from what I've heard it features Cadence becoming an alicorn by defeating an evil villain with the power of love. As important as defeating evil villains is, sometimes something something I've been stuck here for half an hour trying to say something pithy. So, uh, this is beautiful and stuff, so thanks for writing it. :twilightblush:

Absolutely beautiful. As an earlier poster said, it's written just like a fairy tale, and with Cadence being who she is, it was the perfect way to write this story.

This is canon-quality. The writers of the show should give you a cartoonish giant bag of money with a dollar sign on the side and use this story in the show. It's THAT good, and I'm not sure I've ever read a story that I felt that way about.

I salute you, sir. :moustache:

Do you know Colors of the Wind?
The first time I heard the original I was close to tears. Not because it sad but because it is THAT beautiful.
While reading your story I was not close to tears. I shed some.
I find myself unable to write more than that "To make a Spark" has moved me deeply.

Oh ye of little faith!

Seriously. I think we're going to have to make it some kind of game to predict how I'm going to react to a story (and it'll be another thing that Present Perfect can be amusingly incorrect at), because so far no-one seems to have the so much as a glimmer of understanding about what fires my imagination. This, my good man, was absolutely magnificent.

I'm going to get the one small thing that threw me out of the way first: " . . . and the song was her."

Only when reading it the fourth time did I actually twig what this was supposed to mean, and so I went back and had a look at how it was constructed and I still don't like it. To me the text is actively arranged to make it hard to make that connection when there are so many punctuation options meant explicitly to imply connection, but you use a hard carriage-return instead. To me, that forces the separation between pronoun and its target—that is, even though the correct answer went through my head, the construction was telling me that couldn't be the case. Needless to say that such confusion is unhelpful to enjoying prose.

That side, I really enjoyed this for two particular reasons that I think I can clearly explain.

1. You asked me what the difference was between the comedy in Whom The Princesses Would Destroy and Dirk Gently's Hollistic Detection Agency. It took no more than a few chapters to see the difference plain as day. Douglas Adams has a rock-solid confidence—or perhaps arrogance, it matters little—in presenting his own brand of silliness: it is presented as matter-of-fact in the same manner that the 'Pythons excelled at. To me, Whom the Princesses Would Destroy utterly fails in this regard, and it's very much what I have come to label as an 'American' style of comedy (regardless of whether this is a remotely valid or fair labelling). It wants me to find it funny—I can feel the author's need for it to be funny—over-explanation, hanging the moment out, redundant re-clarifications, etcetera. Stories like this make me feel bullied into enjoying it and thus it is almost impossible for me to do so, quashing what little mirth might have otherwise been found there. That ability to write without projection is, I think, the very reason we both enjoyed Variables as much as we did (and sadly, the thing I have come to find missing in T.D.'s later works). It is that absolute neutrality that makes this such an effortless and fundamentally pleasant read.

It asks nothing, it expects nothing, what you get out is up to you. The moment a story feels like it's trying to hard, it will lose me.

2. Plot-wise, the construction here is sublime. The lead-in sub-stories are virtually irrelevant in content—the finale would have made sense regardless—but are perfect for setting pace, establishing tone and demonstrating a masterful grasp of holding your PoV/psychic distance. It holds a certain unfocused and 'off the cuff' feel that allows me to take in the whole thing as a series of concepts rather than any individual detail. It makes full use of the tonal neutrality to let me build pictures in my head without giving so much as a single detail that might get in the way, and yet every detail that actually matters is present. Minimum prose, maximum result. I felt free to actually enjoy it for what it was. Additionally, the lead-in provides the perfect distraction to deliver the final revelation with a feather-light touch. You didn't have to 'make' it anything special—the fact that it was simply different to the unconscious expectation made it stand out without so much as a nudge.

Magnificent.

-M

P.S. If I had a fully functional microphone, I would so do a reading of this for you.

This was quite a wonderful read. Simple, clean, and genuine.

This was actually just :fluttercry: beautiful. This was written so simply, and made so easy to understand, that it helped me to go back to my writing with a lot more happiness than I was feeling previously :yay:. So thank you :twilightsmile:

A beautiful story. I love that it's presented as a fable. The format suits it well. :pinkiehappy:

3574142 Why, she was corrupted by royalty, of course!

Is this really your first time in the featurebox?! Dang, dude. Wonderful story to hit the big time with!

I can tell how much effort went into this because of how effortlessly it reads. Smooth construction, and the fairytale tone is faithful throughout. Deserves it, for certain.

I read this right on the tail of a sad story alongside it in the featurebox (which I'll leave unnamed). That fell flat for me, but your story drew out some genuine feels. I had to stop and think about the contrast. I think that, similar to what 3573090 said about "writing with projection," the major difference here is that it felt like you were willing to let each moment stand on its own, rather than trying to set up some sort of artificial delay and build-up. (Your climax, of course, centers around Celestia and Luna, which is a recipe for awesome … but this was hitting hard long before the climax.) With both your story and Other Story, I guessed the nature of the climax just a few hundred words in … but your story doesn't depend on its climax for its resonance. Each individual song is a moment of beauty, of redemption. And ultimately, it's not what Cadence does to Celestia that made her ascend. It's what she does.

The one piece of possibly-constructive feedback I'd have, by the way, would be to question the scene with the song for the guard. The reason I say this is that you're drawing a lot of power from the fairytale structure of the piece, and one of the stronger fairytale motifs you're going to find is that important things always come in threes. I was actually shocked to see the song for the seneschal when it reached that point, because there was clearly a song for Celestia still upcoming, and that lurched it over the doorway from three to four.

The seneschal's song is, however, stronger than the guard's (and also reflects more upon Celestia herself), and so if you were trying to whittle it down to three songs, that would be the one to cut.

While I'm overanalyzing the songs, the first one is clearly important as it's establishing the nature of her power, and it's the most faithful to her canon power … but might there be any way to tie it further in to the ultimate resolution, or the themes of self-doubt/self-forgiveness invoked by the seneschal/Celestial songs? It might make a strong story even stronger.

3574836 I get what you're saying, but... *ahem*

Since the first three songs are a bait-and-switch for the change in purpose at the end, I'd say this is abiding by the rule of three, just implemented for a secondary effect. I really don't think that just two songs would have carried the correct weight for then ending. As it is, it avoids the basic formula to keep the reader on edge and guessing. That said, I was more of the opinion that ending didn't require the setup, and you seem to see it the other way around, so we may be reading entirely different stories here!

-M

3571541

I think that, in Magical Mystery Cure, there's a certain amount of ambiguity over Celestia's role in Twilight's alicornification. I wanted to keep that same ambiguity here. Celestia may have made Cadence an alicorn, or she may not have; what matters is what Cadence did, not Celestia.

3571601

By all means, take some credit! And thank you again for adding it to the relevant groups.

3572083

Believe me, I know how hard "pithy" can be. I follow your meaning though, no worries :twilightsmile: Thank you!

3572591

That's powerful praise. I'm glad my story worked so well for you.

3572608

Hmm... I'm not quite sure I follow. Maybe you should use some more emoticons?:trollestia:
In all seriousness, though, thank you for the kind words/images!

3572751

I've always felt like a good story should inspire some emotion in the reader. Whether that emotion is joy, sorrow, anger, or that queer commingling of feelings which gets wrapped up in the blanket term "catharsis," a good story should make the reader feel something. I take it as very high praise that you reacted so strongly to my story; thank you for sharing.

3573090

Color me pleasantly surprised! I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed--and thank you for taking the time to elucidate what worked for you. "Emotionally honest" was at the top of my list of things to accomplish with this story (while I like to to think that none of my stories are emotionally dishonest, I do have a tendency to be sledgehammery), and it sounds like that came through.

3573413>>3573855

Thank you!

3574142

Thank you for the kind words! As for how she ended up with Shiny after all that, well, that sounds like another story...

3574322

...or we could just go with that!

3574808

And ultimately, it's not what Cadence does to Celestia that made her ascend. It's what she does.

That is precisely what I hoped to convey. Thank you for the kind words!

3574836>>3574886

As for this: I would tend to count the events essentially as Mr. M does: three challenges which lead up to the climax. At each step, Cadence "grows:" with the farmer, for the first time she uses her talents for someone she's only just met; with the guard, she learns to see the problem unprompted; and with the seneschal, she sees what's in her heart without ever being told. And then, at the end, Celestia.

That's just how I see it, of course. And although I'm quite familiar with the rule of threes, I didn't set out to intentionally evoke (or subvert) it; for better or for worse, I thought that four songs was what the story called for, to show everything I wanted (and hopefully, nothing else).

MnM

I'm honestly surprised this wasn't done sooner. On ya, mate.

-Will

Ooops, forgot to add! Rectify!

Your story is magic. Thank you.
~The Dreamers

3574836 Well, the Rule of Three is more of a guideline than an actual rule. I think the whole thing is adorable, and once I quit sniffling and wiping my eyes, I headed straight for the favorite button. :twilightsmile:

This is just...beautiful. The fairy tale style combined with imagery and themes are just amazing.
Thank you for writing it.

Did you know that, when you bite into an alicorn's personal problems in the dark, it makes a spark?

In all seriousness, I found it quite enjoyable.

Were you going for an Aesopian fairy-tale style of writing? Or just a normal story? Because it feels as if you tried to do both, and it was a bit distracting.

Other than that, a pretty damn good piece of work. I especially like how ambiguous all the characters were. You didn't develop them any more than necessary, yet just enough for the reader to care about them. Not many authors can pull that off. You did.

Carry on.

3574836
See, I have to disagree with my esteemed colleague here. This isn't a classic-three fairy tale structure because the Princess problem is the large unified obstacle at the end. A four-part "One,Two,Three, Summary Of All Three" is just as valid a structure and is more harmonic with the nature of alicorns as presented by Berrow and implied in the canon: that they are the union of the three primary tribes. In fact, my suggestion for improvement would be to momentarily mention the farmer's Earth Pony status (probably intuitable) and the guard's Pegasus one (less so) so that it is made more explicit that she is soothing and simultaneously drawing inspiration from all three major tribes and then mixing them all to give to the Princess. That would, IMO, perfect this already-close-to-perfect alicoronation story.

Anyway, this piece is very relevant to both my interest and my Internets. Liked, Faved, cuddled a little.

3571111
The group-add served the purpose of drawing my attention to this story quite admirably. :pinkiehappy:

Is this really your first time in the feature box? Seems hard to believe

It's times like these I wish I had your reviewing skills. I want to offer some useful criticism, but you'll have to make due with what little I can give. I enjoyed this story; it was short and well structured. I agree with Skywriter that explicitly mentioning the race of each pony Cadance helped would improve the story, though I don't think you should add anything about drawing on all three tribes when helping Celestia

Though I enjoy fairy tales as much as the next guy, they often seem too... tell-y, I suppose, and this fic is no exception. This is one of the few stories I think could actually use lyrics (and honestly, I'm not entirely sure on this suggestion. It may be an awful idea). The alternate fic I'm imagining appropriates pre-existing, older songs for Cadance to sing, with additional lyrics (created by you, if that's not clear) added to Celestia's song at the end. Then again, that would ruin the fairy tale approach unless you chose/created one song that worked for multiple ponies

3575185>>3575621>>3575946

Thank you all for the kind words!

3576379

And you are, of course, very welcome!

3577089

Few people know that alicorns are made of mint lifesavers and vodka. In all seriousness, I'm glad you enjoyed.

3577337

I wasn't trying to be "Aesopian," per se, but I can see the parallels. Thank you for the thoughtful response, and I shall indeed carry on!

3577904

I was going to type up a thoughtful reply, but when I read this all I could think about was your sharing a glass of wine with a rolled-up scroll (all of my fanfics are written on scrolls, what of it?) while sitting beside a roaring fire in a love seat with a picturesque snowfall visible through the frosted window, and I cannot stop laughing.

3578044

Thank you! For whatever reason, I've never really been comfortable putting verse into my stories, so I never seriously thought about writing out any lyrics. It'd be an interesting thought, at least, though like you, I'm having trouble figuring out whether it would work in practice. That would depend mostly on me, I suppose.

3575946

Is it bad that I knew what you were linking to before I clicked on it?

Catharsis...

Worked for me. Well written. Favourited.

Oh my god.

This is probably the most perfectly-crafted storytelling I've ever seen.

Well fuckjng done.

Oh, the feels! :raritycry:

3578044>>3579757
No, this is definitely one of the places where telling is appropriate. Putting actual lyrics in would utterly ruin it.
...unless Chris thinks he can write lyrics that are good enough to get him alicorned, of course.

Just... Lovely.
:heart:

Oh, this was very well done.

3574886
> I was more of the opinion that ending didn't require the setup, and you seem to see it the other way around …

I was more trying to say that each individual song is powerful even without the context of the ending, that they work as individual scenes. They do require the ending in the sense that if you build up through the various encounters and don't close with the climax it would have been hollow. You're right, the same self-containment is true of the ending as well, with the same caveats.

3575019 3575946 3577904
When I am wrong, which is not infrequently, I endeavour to at least be entertainingly and educationally wrong. :twilightsheepish:

:heart:
That is all. Words are useless.

Was the spark her transformation? Did she suddenly become an alicorn then? Or was the spark Celestia's smile? A spark from within her soul when her heart's light flickers once more. Or is it both? A moment in time that can be described as a spark. A moment of love, happiness and bonding.

Wonderful story!
I expected a happier ending because of its fairytale like structure and feel, but perfectly happy endings are anathema in this fandom.
Unless it's a ship...
I wish I had found this story sooner. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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