• Member Since 25th Aug, 2012
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wYvern


Make every word count.

E
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A life lived, and a lifetime worth of memories. But time drags on, and this place... I don't know. I don't know what I'm still doing here.

This story has been translated to Chinese by Nostradamus T.

Featured on Equestria Daily, July 30, 2014.

Featured by The Royal Guard

This story is 100% approved by Twilight's Library

This story is approved by Luna's Fanfiction Library

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 55 )

I cannot help but wonder how this story has no likes besides my own.
Good job.

3438343 That might be because it's not published yet! I wanted to wait for the contest results. Nevertheless, thank you. :pinkiehappy:

That sad tag is no joke. I really enjoyed this little introspective look of an aging Apple Jack. Wouldn't take much to clean up the very few typos and punctuation errors to make it a nearly perfect one-shot. Very well done.

dashie.mylittlefacewhen.com/media/f/rsz/mlfw2077_small.jpg

3443485 Thanks! Writing this first person has been a real challenge for me, especially getting AJ's voice right, but I'm quite happy with the way it turned out, too. :twilightsmile:

As for typos and other errors: My proofreader and I did our best to polish it, but I guess you'll never catch everything. :ajsleepy:

If you read thus far, please consider commenting and rating.

This will take longer than expected.
But as for rating, no problem, it is a good story. Even if this is clearly not the kind of story I like to read (because nothing happens!), I can see the emotions, more importantly I can feel the emotions.

Before I go deeper into details, I feel the need to say I don't really understand the necessity of presenting once again a situation so well known. You get old, you are not the young energic one you once were. Speaking only for me personnally, I've got grand parents, I've seen them try to handle the aging, and the little accident (or bigger accident) that happens when the body is weaker, breaks way easier and recovers way more slowly. Even more, I feel guilty for not giving them more support in that last part of their lives (got "good" reasons for it, but still). So I kind of don't like being reminded that I'm not a good grand son.

So now that I've presented my bias, Let's talk story and litterature.

The non-light of this overcast winter's morning makes the city seem even dirtier than usual.

I clearly don't understand a thing about america. In another story, Manathan was used as, and I quote the author, "a symbol of systematic beauty" (or systemic beauty, something in those lines).
But as I don't like big cities (well, to live in at least), I understand the feeling.
Still, this brings me to one of my biggest complain here:
"The whole story is mostly grey".

In fact, could I have another complaint? Yes, the lack of action.
But let's begin by the lack of color in the descriptions. Not because it's bad, just because it bothers me. I don't really understand that kind of stories, so I would like to expose to you my thoughts, propose an idea and let you discuss it.

First, let me quickly explain what I mean by "it's all grey". I get that:
- you wanted to show how boring and long, and uneventful, and downright lifeless AJ's life is.
- you added some bright memories to create a constraste and show the evolution from the colors to the grey world. (the whole picture album is great in that regard. Very effective, even if I felt manipulated)

And in a way, you did that very well (I did have a reason for liking the story). Mostly, you didn't just repeated it was grey the same way every two line.
Still:

A gray sky hides behind an equally gray part of Manehattan.

I look around cause I got nopony to talk to.

All this non-work is making me drowsy all over again, and I hate it.

A cold, white flake hits my snout. Then another one. And another. The darned clouds finally decided to spew snow, too. What a misery.

But I’m here, in this place. Curse the darned cellar staircase! Curse this place! Curse everything!

Are we really talking about ponies? This feels like it is being said by a human. In fact:

with a mug of steaming coffee in my hooves

Not much coffe in the show...

Some crazy economics crisis nobody seems to know where it came from, diplomatic difficulties with the Gryphon Kingdom, a train derailment in the Crystal Empire…

You mean the economic crisis our world is living? (well, pretty much... whistle). Diplomatic difficulties? Iran? A train derailment? Said like it was normal...? In our world, I totally agree (god reading the newspaper is depressing), but in Equestria... rather difficult to believe.

I haven't found the other references again, but the whole story seems very far away from the usual representation I (and probably most people) have from Equestria. In other word, I feel like you took a story that was meant for humans and decided to write it with ponies (consciously or not).
To argue my case, I would add the fact you made several references to Twilight's immortality (which would make the concept of aging while your friend is staying eternally young very interesting and actually pretty challenging. I would be jaleous personnally), but never exploited them. Twilight could be mortal and it would make no difference at all in the story. In fact, Twilight could be replace by Rainbow Dash and that would make the exact same effect. You just couldn't say:

but I think of Twilight, and how she'll have to suffer for all eternity if I opt out and leave her feeling guilty.

Which you don't need because you already have Applebloom to explain the fact she cannot jump (or maybe the fact that... she doesn't want to?).

So where does my whole diatribe leads me? Because I did have a point. I remember. Your world is grey. Your world is human. Your world ignores the fact it is Equestria, a magical land where everypony is surrounded with good friends.
Now, I know you couldn't make your point within that context. And I'm not saying you should. However, I would advise to exploit Equestria more than just a pretext land. You give Applejack a scar on the head, but you could have put her in wheelchair, effectively preventing her to work.
And even so, you could still try to make Applejack overcome her situation (not succeed, just try), making the fact she fails and feels miserable even more powerful because she, in fact, isn't just complaining, but facing her own failure.
She doesn't try to make friends?

Maybe because I never join in on any of those… activities. Or maybe because old folks just don’t make new friends that easy.

Why? Why wouldn't she? Why not have her try, but slowly stop because she would have make some friends who would have passed away, forcing her to go hide her feelings behind a wall of "I don't care about people anymore" (don't know that word in english).
It would respect the fact she is a pony, that it is Equestria, but still come back to what you want to say. At a certain point, you're just too old, and you feel your life is over.

Once again, I'm not saying you should have done that and that because you didn't you story is a bad one, I'm saying I don't understand why you didn't, why I think you should maybe have considered it and that I would like to know what thought process you've followed.
If I sum up this point:
- the world you describe feels like it's the human world, and not Equestria (because of the references and the fact there is no color whatsoever and AJ gives up without trying like we tend to do - okay, like I tend to do).
- Twilight's immortality is never exploited when it's probably one of the major difference between the pony's world and ours (and it can be used to show how much, when we are old, we would like to be young again, or maybe don't want to be young again and just have lived for too long.. I don't know, I'm way too young to know that)
- the huge amount of "gray, sigh, misery, lack of color, etc..." gave me the feeling I was forced to feel sad about AJ. So I quickly built up a resistance and took some distance from everything, because I knew (or though I knew) what was going to happen and didn't want to feel it. Okay, I thought AJ was going to die in the end, but... you get the idea. You have to give a candy to the kid if you want to take it from him.

***

Second point: Nothing happens.
Once again, I don't know how such stories work, so I'm just curious.
But even if you made the emotional part work very well (once again, making me appreciate the story), I constantly asked myself what the point was beside just stating something I already knew (old people feel bad... like I said, I do have grand parents - in fact, my grand parents are sometimes happy, so in this case, your story is even darker than the reality I know).

You begin by AJ opening her curtains like she probably does everyday. Which means it isn't a very particular day. So this is the description of a normal day and the action should begin later.
But the action never begins.
AJ:
- goes to the cafeteria for breakfast
- look at her photo album
- thinks of jumping off her balcony
- throws her clock by the window
- goes back to bed
In a way, this a very powerful structure which I could translate in:
- "here is the world she lives in"
- "here is the world she was in"
- "here is what the passage from one world to the other inspires her"
- "no she won't jump!"
- "life goes on, but it doesn't, because going to sleep is a well known way to say someone dies"
(okay, I'll speak about the ending later...)

Still, I had no "reason" to keep on reading.
- I didn't discover much headcannon (that I could disagree with :scootangel:) about what happened to the apple family and everypony (not even Sweetie Belle cutie mark. I wanted to complain about it :raritydespair:).
- Applejack never faces any challenge, so I'm never asking myself if or how she is going to make it.
- the clock (which is one of the two ending points of the story) isn't showed as something annoying or the representation of AJ's situation. (I have to say I see a very strong reference to Jacques Brel's song "les vieux", but as Brel sang in french, I doubt you inspired yourself from that)

Well, at least it drowns out the feeble clock, which just now strikes—nah, that's the wrong word for this clock—sighs seven thirty.

This was a very nice use of the clock there and that made me laugh. Imagining a clock sigh. However, the clock isn't taunting Applejack, or more preciselfy, the clock isn't felt by a reader such as myself as an "enemy" or as something "bothering". It's just a clock, among other things.

Writing those words, I can see how the kind of story you wrote asks for nothing to happen... But on the clock thing, I feel like it would have been better to show that Applejack couldn't stand that clock. Not just have some memory of her old clock.

t's weak… Our clock back home had a strong, bold sound to it. A smile pulls at the corners of my mouth;

Yes, it is weak. I can't hate the clock that way. And even if I found it funny that Applejack would throw it out of the window in the end, it still feels like it comes out of nowhere.

But back to my point, forget what I said about nothing happening. Your story needed nothing to happen, because or your point:

Did it again and lived another day.

Living means something happened. Nothing happened => you didn't live, you just survived. (in a caricatural way)

And as I analyzed it (analyze is a strong word), your structure is very effective to do what you wanted to do.

So... just remind the clock. I feel the reader should learn to hate that clock from the very beginning, to feel freed when it gets destroyed in the end.

***

Finally, the ending and the subject discussion:

you’ve never been a good liar, AJ. This ain't living. You died another day.

About the story... well, when did Applejack died exactly? It is never said. Maybe when she got that scar, but I can only interpret it on a logical basis (mostly by elimination) and not because the story tells me that it is the case (I want to say: because it doesn't come back once again in the story, the repetition making it clear for the reader it is an important event).

Now, out of the story...

This ain't living

I want to quote "a never ending day" (I think it must be the title in english...): "It would look a lot like my life".
Most of us just wake up in the morning, go do what they have to do to earn a living, come back home at the end of the day, try to forget they have wasted a day of their life (ponies help a lot :pinkiecrazy:) and fall asleep until the next day.
This asks the question: what is living?

I think we'll all face it, some sooner, some later.

You say "it" like it is clear for everybody what you're talking about. It isn't for me.
Will I have to face the fact I'll soon die when I get old? That because I've gotten old, my body will have become so weak it will be hard to even move from my bed to my computer (no tv...)? Or will I have to face, one day, the fact that my days are spent uselessely away from the world that is very happy to turn without my help? The fact that all the friends I had will have died before me and some of the few I could still have would maybe have become insane like Big Mac in the story, leaving me to feel as alone as if I had no friends anymore, but with the guilt of knowing they are still alive and could need me to care about them and not me?

What is living? What does it mean?

Are we alive because we feel alive? Are we alive because we still breath? Are we alive because we are part of something? Are we alive because we are important for somebody, would it only be a lazy cat that we feed once a day?
Are we alive because we are?
Are we alive because we have decided to?
Or are we alive because we hope we still are?

I've got no answer. But I've got grand parents. And what I learned is the following:
- as long as the body still accept to move, you can find some joy in being alive, as long as you can accept to move on from the past because you aren't the one you once were (as I said, I observed that, I don't know if I could do it or not).
- as soon as the body stops functioning normally, when moving becomes too difficult, when realizing anything at all demands too much effort, then the situation changes dramatically and the mind begins to feel imprisoned in its own body and slowly stops to fight and just sit in a corner, waiting for the prison to break on its own.
(to give the context, I observed a woman who was a teacher, a farmer and had nine kids, cultivate her own garden, then have to just cultivate plants inside her little house, and still do it with a smile. She only lost it when she couldn't even cook her own food (not because someone else would do it for her, because she couldn't at all when she would try) or couldn't even take a shower or a bath without the risk of falling or, as silly as it sounds, drowning).

Also, I think it's harder if you never had children

I don't know. Probably. An old man once told me (well, in french, but still): "The young one don't understand how important it is to be with someone when you get old". I guess kids count too. Or maybe kids can give the feeling your life was worth something after all, even if you can't achieve much anymore.

As I said way earlier in my comment (just how long is that comment now?), I'm way too young to have any answer at all. Sorry.

I felt like I had to explore it.

Then please just answer that question: "Would an old person, after a very long life, be willing to become young once again and live the whole way through?"
I feel like I wouldn't...

Sorry for the long comment... I was eager at the idea of learning about that kind of stories, and I guess the subject did touch me more than I thought it would :twilightsheepish:.
Oh well, that the mark of a good story I guess. :yay:

Well, that was painful to read, and I mean that in a good way. You managed to make me cry quite effectively, so give yourself a pat on the back. Favorited and up-thumbed.

3464443 Wow. I mean, wow. First of all, thanks for commenting. This comment is so long, it could be a oneshot of its own, and you taking that time and spend it on my story makes my heart go faster. Thank you!

Now to your comments and questions, I'll do what I can, although not all of your questions are mine to answer.

I feel the need to say I don't really understand the necessity of presenting once again a situation so well known.

The main reason I wrote this story is empathy for the old. You say the situation is well known, but have you ever felt the situation, looked at it through their eyes, walked a mile in their shoes? That is what I wanted to achieve. Knowing is one thing, but it ain't enough, and if it reminded you of being a bad grandson, I won't apologize if it means you'll pay them one more visit for it.

Gray

Ah yes, I can see where this is coming from, and I totally agree. The world described is not the Equestria we know. What you have to take into account here is that this is a first person story. While one person might look at Manehatten as a beautiful city (however absurd that combination of words feels in my own head), AJ's been a farmpony all her life, and we know she's had bad experiences with cities. Imagine living in one place ALL YOUR LIFE, and then move to someplace else. Many of the negative sides of old age I touch on here would've been small problems for the AJ we know, but this AJ is an uprooted tree. The unfamiliar environment serves as a catalyst for a depression that renders her unable to attack her problems as she normaly would.
That you built up resistance to the sadness makes me wonder why you clicked on a story with a sad tag in the first place. Taht it went too fast for you is probably owed to the fact that this is a oneshot. Also, I don't have to give you that much candy. The show does. Writing fanfiction provides a lot of emotional ammo, and the story would never work would it revolve around an OC.

The news come from our world, not Equestria

You're right, I used the real world as inspiration for the news. Also, I'm never stating that these things aren't a big deal in Equestria. I say they are no big deal for AJ, foreshadowing at this point how little she still cares about this world.

The fact that I never exploited Twilights immortality further is: I don't know how immortality might feel. Also, AJ doesn't feel jeaulous about it because she doesn't struggle with dieing too soon, but with living too long. Princesses being immortal is also a normal thing in Equestria, so why would she linger on the thought?

Nothing happens

I completely understand that critique, and to call this oneshot an emotional picture rather than a story would probably be more accurate.

Applejack never faces any challenge, so I'm never asking myself if or how she is going to make it.

So having no source of self-value and no purpose in life isn't a challenge for you? She does little to battle those things, but I've stated the reason why she feels unable to do so previously.

The clock.

I tried to introduce the clock as a metaphor for the relativity of time. The power that a clock has (over you) is determined by how much stuff you've got to do, hence the strong clock back home. This clock is weak... all the time in the world and nothing to do with it. Also, have you ever noticed how time drags when you try to kill it? The more AJ wants this clock to run faster so she can leave this place, the slower it seems to run, until the point she can't take it any longer and throws it out the window.

you’ve never been a good liar, AJ. This ain't living. You died another day.

About the story... well, when did Applejack died exactly?

This 'died another day' is just trying to express that living isn't about breathing or a beating heart, but about a meaning of life and things to strive for.

You say "it" like it is clear for everybody what you're talking about.

Yeah, that is a bit unexplained. I can't nail it down 100%, but I think I meant that the things that defined you break away. Many people define themselves with their jobs, but you won't be a doctor or engineer forever. Some define themselves by their abilities, but you won't be a super sharp thinker or athlete forever. See what I mean?

Are we alive because we feel alive? Are we alive because we still breath? Are we alive because we are part of something? Are we alive because we are important for somebody, would it only be a lazy cat that we feed once a day?

Are we alive because we are?

Are we alive because we have decided to?

Or are we alive because we hope we still are?

Well, I kinda gave that away when I said it was about the meaning of life, but I'm happy that you asked because making people think is and ask themselves questions is anything I could've hoped for. You don't need to take my word on any of these personal opinions of mine. Also, what that meaning of life is is totally up to each one individually; there is no right or wrong answer to that question... unless you say it is to kill as much infidels as possible.

Then please just answer that question: "Would an old person, after a very long life, be willing to become young once again and live the whole way through?"

I feel like I wouldn't...

That is a very difficult question, because I personally believe we know far too little about the process of aging yet.
Would a very old person like to live for another 80 years in a young body? Maybe not.
Would a very old person like to live for another 80 years being young again? Absolutely, yes.

You see, with being young comes a different mindset. The old people are not just the product of more information, they see things differently. What we do not yet know is if this shift in mindset comes from the process of biological aging or is a necessary sideeffect of accumulating experiences.

You could touch on the prospect of immortality again, here, because the Twilight in this fic clearly made new friends and is still out and about. She has a young mind, an immortal mind, despite her actual age. Would a true immortal be that way, or just quit after a certain amount of time because he's seen enough? I don't know, and I don't think anyone ever will.

Sorry for the long comment... I was eager at the idea of learning about that kind of stories, and I guess the subject did touch me more than I thought it would :twilightsheepish:.

Oh well, that the mark of a good story I guess.

No need to be sorry, I like talking to people and answering you helped me see clearer about some things, too. I hope I could shed some light on the questions you had.

And thanks for the praise, of course. :twilightblush:

3464743

and you taking that time and spend it on my story makes my heart go faster.

I just had stuff I wanted to ask, nothing more :twilightsheepish:.

but have you ever felt the situation, looked at it through their eyes, walked a mile in their shoes?

I feel you have more experience than me on the subject (at least I suspect it). However, I once received a comment (on a french story, so comment in french) from an old person who told me "you describe aging as something way too negative". It had me thinking.
Maybe there there is a good side in aging. And maybe that's part of why I wondered why your story was all black (well, all gray/grey whatever that word is spelled).

makes me wonder why you clicked on a story with a sad tag in the first place.

I actually try to not care who has written the story and what the story is about when I begin reading. (it allowed me to discover a great nsfw story that I would have never opened if I had noticed it was ntsfw material).
But my reaction to build up a resistance is only natural. If you know someone is going to punch you, you prepare to feel as little pain as possible. Here, it was clear you wanted me to feel bad, and I like being happy...
If I think of a sad story that works for me... "mirai nikki" maybe (well, the ending is kinda sad, the rest is mostly gore). Because the sad ending was unexpected and punched me in the stomach without warning.
But I do realize good sad stories aren't only about surprise. I would say I only like sadness if there is a bright side to it. If that sadness reflects something I've lost or that I want. It all comes back to me (selfish I know), but we all see the world through our own eyes... I wouldn't open to the sadness you described because it was a sadness I had no reason to open to. (I guess...)

and the story would never work would it revolve around an OC.

Wouldn't it? You couldn't make all the references to Applebloom and Big Mac as well as Granny Smith, but... I'm certain you could write the same story with an OC and obtain a pretty similar result. You would just have to explain the character and its past life more.
Actually, you could pretty much write that story with a human and it would still work...

You're right, I used the real world as inspiration for the news.

What I wanted to say is that by using news that refer to our world, you make a reader such as myself think about our world instead of Equestria, which means I'm putting the boundaries into our worlds, thinking with humans and giving humans traits to the characters, instead of ponies.
If the news were like:
"big news from Canterlot: pegasus are rufians!"
I would be in the "pony" mood (well, the example is weak, but... I was never really able to write). It would, on the other hand, constrast with the gray atmosphere you're building. I understand that. (no real answer).

Princesses being immortal is also a normal thing in Equestria, so why would she linger on the thought?

Having people being richer or more famous than other is a normal thing in our world, but I do am jaleous (but conscious of it, so I manage :twilightsmile:) of one of my friend who earns triple more than me. That makes a strange relationship and has forced me to consider my relation to money (and his relation to money) quite deeply. (I'll probably lose that friend, but that's another story for way later, probably still a year or two so everything's fine. :twilightsheepish:).

The same way, AJ could consider normal that a princess would be immortal, but the fact that this princess is her close friend and even more that this princess wasn't immortal at the beginning could have some impact.
Just as if you closest friend just won the lottery. Could seem unfair (none of my friend won, so that's a theoretical example).

an emotional picture

It took me some time to understand, but I think I understand. And I can link it with:

The main reason I wrote this story is empathy for the old.

I may have been to rash into my judgment. Well, I've learned something :moustache:.

So having no source of self-value and no purpose in life isn't a challenge for you? She does little to battle those things, but I've stated the reason why she feels unable to do so previously.

In short:
- well, no, but for personnal reasons (kind of my life, and I've learned to live with it)
- the fact she doesn't battle it makes it not a challenge, because there is nobody to compete in it
- the only real reason I understood (not that I read or that you put in, but that I really understood from the story itself (and I previously understood I should have tried to understand more, also not counting what you explained, because I'm talking about the story itself and how I read it) is the scar that put her in the center for olf people. And that hardly seems like a good reason as she looks like she can still do stuff.)

This clock is weak... all the time in the world and nothing to do with it.

I'm sorry, I had absolutely not seen that in the story. But once again, I may have been very biased by Brel's song (where the clock is used as a reminder to the old people that they are old and will soon die).

This 'died another day' is just trying to express that living isn't about breathing or a beating heart,

The problem lies in the fact that you talked about "other days" in the story, so as a reader I automatically makes a connection between those other days and the "other day" you use in the expression. Tricky... and I wonder if I'm the only one who made the connection...
Maybe my mind is going to far when reading. (bad, BAD mind! Go sit!)

What we do not yet know is if this shift in mindset comes from the process of biological aging or is a necessary sideeffect of accumulating experiences.

And I got a new thing to think about. This is a very complicated question. (yes, I know it's for the scientists to answer, but I'll still think about it on my side)

And thanks for the praise, of course.

No need to thank for something that was deserved :yay:.

ps: you may have noticed I like to discuss stuff too, even if I lack the structure and also if discussing things in english is quite difficult due to my lack of vocabulary...

i have to say one of the sadist fics iv seen but it's a slice of life everyday we grow older.

3470892 Indeed, we do! Thanks for your comment. :)

3464887

Maybe there there is a good side in aging. And maybe that's part of why I wondered why your story was all black

I do agree. Not all things about aging are bad; caring less about the world around you and about everyday troubles can be an asset, but it is a double-edged sword as it can make you feel disconnected, too.

I'm certain you could write the same story with an OC and obtain a pretty similar result. You would just have to explain the character and its past life more.

Actually, you could pretty much write that story with a human and it would still work...

Well yes, of course you could make this kind of story work for a character you introduce first, but the introduction to the character would take much time, time I can save by using a character already known to the audience.

What I wanted to say is that by using news that refer to our world, you make a reader such as myself think about our world instead of Equestria, which means I'm putting the boundaries into our worlds, thinking with humans and giving humans traits to the characters, instead of ponies.

You know, I don't really know how I should feel about this. On one hand, I wanted to make something pony with this story. On the other hand, the important thing I wanted to convey was the theme, and breaking down the barrier between Equestria and our world might make it easier for people to connect the story with something that could be happening to themselves, or to people close to them.

Jealousy of Twilight's immortality

You are right, she could be jealous of that if she were in a mood where she'd want to expand her life... which she isn't. I don't think it would really add to the story. On the other hoof, there are many sources of potential jealousy in Equestria: As an earthpony I'd be jealous of a pegasus' wings, or of a unicorn's magical abilities. There are many inequalities in this world which one could struggle with, none of which get adressed in the show.

- the only real reason I understood (not that I read or that you put in, but that I really understood from the story itself (and I previously understood I should have tried to understand more, also not counting what you explained, because I'm talking about the story itself and how I read it) is the scar that put her in the center for olf people. And that hardly seems like a good reason as she looks like she can still do stuff.)

Well, the scar is just a side-effect of a tumble down the stairs which left her unconscious and bruised up. Twilight then found her and convinced her to move someplace she wouldn't be alone if she needed help/had an accident.

The reasoning behind this is something I've seen again and again. Young people tend to be overprotective, and by trying to protect an old persons physical integrity often maim the joy in life they still had. In my story, Twilight is the one trying to protect AJ, to which AJ agrees so Twilight won't feel worried. Twilight doesn't understand how an old person might feel, having to leave the only place she knew behind and adapt to a new location, and AJ fears she might alienate Twilight if she rejects her care.
Young people are in the position of power in this relationship, which is why I think it is important to try to understand how old people might think ahead of time.

ps: you may have noticed I like to discuss stuff too, even if I lack the structure and also if discussing things in english is quite difficult due to my lack of vocabulary...

If you'd like to discuss some more, feel free about sending me a PM or an e-mail, too. :raritywink:

3502753

On the other hand, the important thing I wanted to convey was the theme, and breaking down the barrier between Equestria and our world might make it easier for people to connect the story with something that could be happening to themselves, or to people close to them.

This is a very good point. I don't disagree with it,

On one hand, I wanted to make something pony with this story.

Well, then it asks the question of what a "pony thing" is in contrast with a "non pony thing". And even if the prime reason to write about ponies is to profit from pre-established characters, the second reason would actually be the difference between their world and ours. Discussing about theirs to discuss ours.

Young people are in the position of power in this relationship

On a theoretical point of view, I think of Pinkie Pie taking care of Granny Smith after Applejack would have asked her to take extra care of her granny. But that would be a completely different story.

I'm going way too far there. Still, if you allow me to be the curious person I am, I would like to ask you a question that I wonder not only about you, but that I've wondered about every person writing about ponies:
"Why do you write about ponies?"
Not that you shouldn't (on the contrary :twilightsmile:), but I never found all the answers to that question...

3505251

Well, then it asks the question of what a "pony thing" is in contrast with a "non pony thing". And even if the prime reason to write about ponies is to profit from pre-established characters, the second reason would actually be the difference between their world and ours. Discussing about theirs to discuss ours.

[...]

"Why do you write about ponies?"

That is a good question. I don't think you'll ever find all the answers to it, because many different people have many different reasons. Instead of speculating what other's reasons might be, I'll elaborate a bit on mine.

1. The characters. The mane six alone provide a rich playground for character driven stories. Just throw them into a situation that puts them out of their comfort zone and BOOM, story. Well, it's not that simple, but you get the drift.

I'd like to adress your question of what makes a thing pony and what doesn't there, since I've had that conversation with Cloudy Skies some time ago where he said he's not interested in stories with the human tag since he wanted to write about ponies; I think the characters are only ponies on the outside. They look like ponies, and they use ponyfied phrases and such, but look at the characters: Ever seen a pony with a passion for fashion, a bookworm pony or a baker pony? No, because these character traits are human. All those characters are basically humans in pony bodies, as they usually are in a fable, which this cartoon is. In the end, I'm using the pony bodies to let the readers imagine the characters as they know them from the show, not because I think they must necessarily look so.

2. The world. This is a thing I do not praise for its elaborateness, but rather for the lack thereoff. It provides some familiar playing ground aka Ponyville, or Equestria in general, but leaves room for much interpretation and additional things beyond these borders. We know little of the planet as a whole, its rules, other countries, etc. This enables you to create a sense of familiarity on one hand, and also cast your characters into the most outlandish realms without breaking with canon.

3. The readership. I have been compelled to write before, but I've always struggled with motivation to actually finish something as soon as the initial fascination with my concept faded. I always thought, then: "Why do I do this? 2 or 3 close friends might read it, maybe my parents, but besides?" This always stunted my motivation. While many others say "write for yourself", this never worked for me. I also think it is a cheap excuse for writers unwilling to learn, unwilling to improve and take criticism to the heart. If you write for yourself, why publish on this site? Actions speak louder than words, even in writing.

Fimfiction is a great way to get feedback. There are a lot of readers, and a lot of other writers taht have a good basis to give you criticism and no fear to hurt your feelings as close friends might. Groups like Authors helping Authors, W.R.I.T.E. and The School for New Writers really go a long way in helping a rookie like me getting a good start.

Primarily, I'm looking for criticism from readers, but I also like nice words. I like to compare it to tennis: If you play against a better player (getting criticised), it'll teach you a lot, but winning a serve from time to time (getting good feedback) will keep you motivated to fight on.



A think I'd like to comment on now since you asked about my motivation for writing is that you criticised that I didn't match the overall mood of the show. That Slice of Life, Comedy, fluffy fun, a world that is quite colorful and OK, really contrasts with 3 of my now 4 published stories (the one it didn't clash with was the most popular... should give me something to think). You know, ideas come and go, but the ones that usually stick with me, the ones that won't let me sleep at night, are the sad and dark ones. I can't really influence that. The one I'm currently fleshing out is a Rarity&Spike adventure shipping, though, so maybe there's still hope for me! :raritywink:

Wow, this got really long. I like talking about myself far more than what could be called decent, sorry.

3527568

I'll elaborate a bit on mine.

Thanks for that. Even if I may not agree on everything you said, it at least gives me another point of view to expand my own. :twilightsmile:

If you write for yourself, why publish on this site?

That's a very good point.

You know, ideas come and go, but the ones that usually stick with me, the ones that won't let me sleep at night, are the sad and dark ones.

Well, I was just going too far with my stubborness. It comes from my reading from other stories in a totally other field. I guess I shouldn't have made such a big deal out of it in the first place.

All those characters are basically humans in pony bodies

Well... yes, okay.

I really enjoyed this even though it was slightly depressing. Sometimes I fear this fear too of growing old and being done. I think you really did an amazing job writing that fear and how Applejack felt because of it. Nicely done!

3884147 Putting the reader into that situation was my goal, so I won't say I'm sorry that it left you a bit depressed. :raritywink:
Thank you for the like, fave and comment!

Wow. The bottle uncorked. So visceral. Me likey.

You have to fix the capitals after colons/semicolons, and there is an extra space before a period in there, then it's back to EqD, right?

4735327 Hey man, thanks again. I was actually unsure about capitalization behind colons and semi-colons, so I went for sometimes. Not a good choice. :rainbowlaugh:
Yes, another fixing run now and then off to the submission forms again.

I saw the sad tag and immediately braced for feels impact. I'm glad to see it aint that kind of sad. Great story, really, and I'm glad to have found it on EqD

If you can make others so sad and worrisome about growing old themselves with your writing talent,
I only wonder what hearts tremble and what tears fall when you write happy things.
I've not seen such raw writing power in a long time. Thank you for that.

:pinkiesad2:

Holy crow...I just started my CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) Course, and have been visiting a Nursing Home and learning the skills and stuff of such work. Reading this hit me so hard in the feels I think I got whiplash.

I can't imagine winding up in the same situation. I mean, I can, but i think I'd rather someone just kill me and be done with it myself. I really do wish the best for AJ, but the thing is I see people in her situation alot now. I can't help but think how many of them are still in good enough shape mentally to want out of there, but whatever problems they have make people say otherwise.

This one hit close to home, but it was wonderful all the same, and thanks for writing it. :heart:

4775505 Thank you for your comment and the fave. Glad the story was a positive surprise for you! :ajsmug:


4775634

I've not seen such raw writing power in a long time. Thank you for that.

Thank you for the high praise, and: you're welcome. I hope I'll provide just as good, preferrably better, writing in future stories. Something happy you say? I'll think about it. :raritywink:


4775734 I want to say that I take my hat off to you. The job you've decided on is stressful, both mentally and physcially, and getting more vital by the day in our increasinsly aging society. So: Thank you and stay awesome! :rainbowdetermined2:


4776119 Thank you for the praise. I hope you'll find my other stories to your liking, too.

As for your crying, I'd like to quote Gandalf the White from The Lord of the Rings: "I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil." I found that, for myself, experiencing sadness from time to time makes joy all the merrier.

You know, I can't lie. I like this story. When you get old the last thing you want to feel is useless.

4777269 Thank you, and: done! :pinkiesmile:

4777925 No need to lie! Thank you for your comment. :twilightsmile:

I like this, this feels very Applejack.

For a told story, you did an excellent job blending in AJ's character and keeping everything interesting. Have a thumb and a ribbon:
i.imgur.com/6MrWqNZ.png

4781718 Thank you, I really tried my best to make her voice come across just right. :ajsmug:


4782344 Thank you, kind Sir. :twilightsmile:

4782391
You are quite welcome :moustache:

I.....uhm......
Actually, you know, I'm afraid of all stories with a sad tag, but EXCEPT this one.
It's an evocative story and I really love it.
Thanks for your writing.
By the way, do you mind if I translate your story in Chinese?

4786971 Thank you for your comment and kind words. I actually feel flattered that you'd wish to translate it, I wouldn't mind at all!

My mind is officially blown! :rainbowkiss: that was AMAZING!!!!!
Awesome job!
It made me cry a little because the feels :twilightsmile:

Watch the links pics in the description box. They're against FimFic policy, I believe.

4792422 Thank you for your praise. :twilightblush:

4794346 Gosh, you're right, I've had a run-in with that with Quest, too, thanks for reminding me.

That was wonderful. Bit of a rough middle of the story for the old girl, but by the time the chapter ended I had a big ol' grin on my face.

4802320 Sometimes you gotta have lows to see where the highs are.

I didn't like all this exposition. I suppose it's a fair amount, did a good job conveying all the necessary information, and is far from emotionless, but I still had trouble getting through it all. After that though, fabulous story!

“Wait, is that a challenge?”

Thanks you so much for using those exact words. Totally an Applejack thing to say. Brightens my day.

Oh, and I suppose I should mention that I found this from a signal boost from InquisitorM.

4802320 Thank you for your comment. That big old grin tells me I managed the ending I was going for! :yay:

4822869 Thank you for your feedback. You're right, I feel that especially the photo album part is dragging like hell. In the earlier drafts, it was all about exposition, no development whatsoever. For this final draft then, I cut out about 2k words, the original last half of the story, but I couldn't make myself ditch the album part... I spent so much time getting it right, and I loved the scenery, I got far too attached to it to do anything but keep it, and the story suffers for it. I'll try to learn from this and to not get myself into that situation in successive stories.

I'm glad you found the second half worthwhile living through my expository self-indulgence.

This was amazing! You really captured what I can see Applejack as being like when she gets old. Excellent story. :raritywink:

4825695 Thank you! :pinkiehappy:

4825714 You're quite welcome! :twilightsmile:

I think that bit at the end laid some things out a bit too blatantly (summing up the problems we've just been shown), but besides that I have no complaints. 'Tis good. :twistnerd:

4838366 Thank you for your feedback. You are right: AJ's ranting in the last scene is basically telling what I tried to show in the previous scenes. There is a difference, though. You see, AJ is living in a status quo that is out of touch with life. For you as the reader, this is self-evidently a problem, but for her, that's just the way things are. By laying it all out to Twilight, by admitting that this is a problem and can't go on, AJ enables herself to fix things. Speaking it out loud is a crucial step.

4838813

Fair enough... Fair enough. :duck:

And you're welcome. I usually at least try to make a productive comment on stories I like. lol

4841647 That is a very commendable resolution, and it's not that I'm saying your critique is wrong, I just wanted to tell you why I felt it neccessary to include these things. Since you noticed it was an information dump, I feel that the core of your critique is that this piece isn't engaging enough, which I can fully empathize with: It's a rather too blatant, and I might have done a better job at making it more emotional, or giving it a more personal spin.

I'll try to learn from your critique and your example: With stories I like, I'm usually reduced to "Man, that was so awesome, give me more!" :rainbowlaugh:

4841696

I'm guilty of the same, myself, and I often feel bad when I do. lol

But that's what I was going for. Just put it out there in case it might help. It's what I'd want if I actually got comments of my own. :raritywink:

:flutterrage: I DEMAND A SEQUEL! :fluttershysad:..um if that's okay with you.

4955633 As in "AJ turns the old ponies' home upside down"? That could actually be kinda fun in a comedic setting. I have nothing planned of the sort, though. I also don't think I'll ever do it, mainly because I like standalone stories more than sequels, but also because I don't feel I have a comedy in me... at least not in the near future. It's the thoughtful, sad and dark things that claw themselves to the surface of my mind when I write.

I'd cheer you on though if the prospect of a sequel could compell you to take up writing yourself, although I think an original idea of your own would be much more rewarding.

Even though it's kind of sad, something about this story is so cute :twilightsmile:

5452265 The situation is quite sad indeed. The cuteness you're feeling might be AJ's character prevailing... who can but love her feisty, practical self that's shining through during the final scene. Thank you for your comment.

Great story, though I had to take it in two bites. It brought back a lot for me; I was primary caregiver for my paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother and battled hourly with them over the exact emotions AJ expresses. It's a hard topic- both for the person who has aged and those who care for them- and you did well rounding out all characters.

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