• Member Since 9th Dec, 2011
  • offline last seen November 3rd

Casca


“I need you, the reader, to imagine us, for we don't really exist if you don't.”

E

An honest pony spends New Year's alone in Canterlot.


First place winner of the Dec 2012 /fic/ writeoff: My First New Year's Alone. Cover art by Conicer. Now featured on EqD!


Written before Season 4.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 15 )

Not sure how that works... :rainbowhuh:

I have to ask, "what's going on?" The story seems to be jumping back and forth between two timelines. I 'think' the narrator slipped and fell in the later timeline due to his bad back, but it's not clear. The other real question is "when" this is happening. I'm partial to think this was 1000 years ago at the first Nightmare Moon incident, but it's been established in canon for a while now that the castle of the two sisters was the site of that fight, not Canterlot, if this was an older story I can see why setting it in Canterlot might work, but if this is a newer story them it seems odd to rewrite the battle this way. Other oddities is the mixed technology, radios? That argues against it being the original nightmare war but some later conflict.


I'm finding not knowing these sort of basic setting info bits, unhelpful to understand what's going on.

Even if I don't get the plot completely, I do like it just on the feel of the piece.

Okay, the prose was well done, but I didn't see an actual storyline in here other than "construction worker saw Luna once, then started working on the ruined Canterlot, then saw Celestia and possibly fell to his death." I feel like there has to be something I'm missing here.

Despite being left wallowing in a pool of my own ignorance after reading this story, I really quite enjoyed it. I am however left with the feeling that something large and obscure has sailed across the empty space above my head, thus confirming that I am not observant enough.

Cheers for the nice story :twilightsmile:

3917296
Oh hey - now it does!

3917470
This was actually written before S4. Added a disclaimer for it, thanks for pointing that out!

The day count gives the chronology. "Forty-seventh day", "two-hundred-and-first day", "first week since I got here", with the last part being in Trottingham. which was given to be where he was before. He does/not fall, but it isn't in time. :scootangel:

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Heh, thank you guys - I assure you, what you see is what you get, and there's not much to miss. Sorta. He is an honest pony after all. :scootangel:

I'm fond of experience-oriented stories, and this was my first attempt at something geared as such. As far as story goes, that much is the story: the experience of a pony being away from home for the holidays, for the first time in his life. Of course there's all the worldbuilding looking at post-NMM banishment, but that's secondary.

Also it was written for a competition with the picture as a prompt, and I wanted to be cheeky, so I took the tiny detail in the background instead of the central focus. =P

Thank you for reading and commenting, and I'm glad you found something to enjoy :twilightsmile:

I thought this was part of the Cloud Kicker AU month, but I was wrong. Still a great story!:pinkiehappy:

I have absolutely no idea what to make of this. Mostly, I think I spent the whole thing trying to figure out the time reference and see if it was hinting at some worldbuilding, since there was no way I could place that kind of construction a millennium before the show. Moreover, I couldn't help but feel the piece lacked a definitive style: it's framed in a journal style, yet dispenses with that as soon as it becomes inconvenient for narration.

The lack of strong plot I can dismiss as just preference—I like a strong story to be told—but the disjointed style had me thinking my time wasn't being well invested here. It felt like it was trying to say something and then didn't. I guess maybe I unfairly expected more from a story that made it to EqD.

-Captain Curmudgeon

P.S. You're missing a space:

She just faced me, and I faced her, and I didn’t know what to do.Her eyes twinkled,

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Thank you for the thoughtful criticism. I can see now that the whole time frame thing is a large blindside, which is always good to remember for other work. I realize, with the fresh flood of comments, that I'm not yet there to where I wish to be - you're right that it isn't about telling something. I wanted it to evoke, but never gave much thought beyond that; I'll remember to go further next time I try out this kind of style. :twilightsmile:

3948902 Come to think of it, I had the same reaction when Juggy's Diary of a Pliant Tyrant made it into the Royal Canterlot Library. The journal thing went fine until the big scene with Discord and Celestia, when Discord starts narrating the scene in his diary as prose. The dissonance for me as a reader was catastrophic to the experience.

And I say experience very specifically. As I have started to explore in the introduction for a series of articles intended to raise the bar on writing standards, (A project I initiated after Horse Voice helped me to see that writing itself was never going to truly be what I had to offer), it makes far more sense to describe the process as crafting an experience than writing a story. This is something I became aware of after the reaction to Movements of Fire and Shadow. The idea was so ludicrously simple that every facet of the story could lead towards it; it was never that the idea was particularly good (not that it wasn't more than sufficient), but that it had a unifying idea that tied it together. The experience was always the deciding factor in writing choices, and I'd have to say there was a huge dollop of luck in hitting the mark quite so resoundingly.

I guess what I'm saying is that I dispute the implication of 'it isn't about telling something', and I don't even mean in a show vs tell kind of way. I don't think you have to tell the reader much, just step out of the way and give them space to feel; yet, you need to remain aware of what feelings or images you're leaving out in the open to be seen. It also touches on how I learned to think about conflict—that the conflict itself should never be explained. If you've adequately described a world and it's actors, the conflict should flow naturally from one event to the next, even if that conflict is detail omitted from the narrative that the reader is consciously aware of. In any first person narrative or journal style piece, the narrator can clearly express his or her thoughts and feelings, and thus I think it stands to reason that those thoughts and feelings should never be the conflict of such a story—they're merely a window to it. Even a story that starts bleak, stays bleak, and ends bleak, can be gripping for being nothing but bleak: not a story so much as a narrated experience. The trick, therefore, is how to imply in a format where the character can say exactly how he or she feels at any point. It's the natural pit-fall of the genre and I'm not sure I'd even know how to avoid it myself—I'm a dialogue bunny, as you may know.

Anyway. Just some ideas I thought might help.

-M

I don't get it... sorry.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Still a great story, after all these years. :)

6361653
heyy, thanks =) glad to hear it holds up still!

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