• Published 1st May 2012
  • 2,219 Views, 143 Comments

Setting the Rules - fic Write Off

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(Trying to) Set the Rules


Rule the First: Concerning Lavender Unicorns


Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, or LUS, is often found in nhhjgf

You people try far too hard. Monty Python and Lord of the Rings?

Stop pressing backspace, it won’t work. Just try and be civil, eh?


Impressive. Three lines into a writing guide, and we’ve already abandoned spelling, capitalization and punctuation.

Do try and pull yourself together.

Alright then. Who are you, and why can you edit this? Actually, why can’t I edit it back?

Because I just said it, of course. It would be impolite to go back in time. Oh, forgive me, where are my manners. Perhaps we haven’t met?

I think I’ll call you Mr.Unhelpful. Can I at least go back and change the bit that looks awful?

I’m afraid it all looks awful, there’s not even anything resembling a proper paragraph yet.

‘Perhaps we haven’t met?’ I recognise that. Ohno. Nonononononono.

Not quite as dumb as you loo


Rule #1- Concerning Lavender Unicorns

Lavender Unicorn Syndrome (LUS)

So, only half my advice was worth taking?

Still here? If you mean the Bilbo Baggins introduction, then yes. It stays.

Talking of introductions, this seems a little brief. No self-deprecating author’s note, not even a title. That turns readers right off, you know.

Since when did you offer constructive criticism?

Oh, you and your ‘friends’ are causing quite a bit of chaos and confusion. I’d like to... spread it around a little more. Now write it again, but presenting it properly.

You’re inserting dramatic pauses into written dialogue? I’m not listening to anything you have to say.

Fine. Have it your way.


Discord’s Guide

Fear not, my little humans, for the time of salvation is at hand. I shall lead you, a light in the darkness of the tyranny of mediocre writing, a breaker of the chains of awkwardly imposed semicolons, a slayer of

That isn’t better. No-one likes arrogance in an author. I’m trying to help people out here.

You don’t like arrogance, yet you’re writing a guide, holding yourself above everybody else? Also, you were about to write nopony there. Don’t try to deny it, we all saw.

At least I’m not hailing myself as the Second Coming of Christ. Please leave me alone, I have work to avoid.

Ooh, how bitingly sarcastic. If you’re going to be so rude, then very well.


My deepest apologies to any readers. I’ll do my best to get this back on track.

Rule Number One: Avoid Lavender Unicorn Syndrome.

Seriously folks, I mean this one. Don’t describe characters when you can just name them. Anything else breaks

Track? This isn’t a train, silly!

But I didn’t...

Didn’t write me? Of course not. I saw you writing two ponies, and thought you must be lonely, because if there isn’t anyone to write the other pony, you must not have any friends to to do it! So I came to say hi!

Oops, silly me!


I have friends!

You do?


Now you have one more! I’m Pinkie Pie, but all my friends call me Pinkie!

I was afraid of that.

Soo, if you have friends, why are you trying to write as two different ponies? Ooh, ooh, I know., are you trying to be a hipster postmodern hipster groovypants?

There’s a difference between writing outside the box and being postmodern for no reason, Pinkie. How do you even know the word ‘postmodern’?

Teeheehee, it was lying around. And you know it, so I know it too. Can I have a go at writing a guide too? Pretty please?

Be my guest. What do you mean, ‘you know it, so I know it too’? I’m not writing you.

No, but he is.


The very mostest super-duper important thing to remember when writing is to have fun! If you loved loved loved writing it, all the lovely little readers will too. Unless they’re all grumpy and mean. Cupcakes cure meanies. Can you write a cupcake?



I can hear you fluttering your eyelashes. Stop it, you’re a horse. Now, who’s ‘he’?

The author, silly.

Now, if you can’t write a cupcake to cheer somepony up, the next best thing is to describe one. Use as many great big describing words as you can, and heap them all up into a pile of sugary succulent sweetness!

I’m the author! And I will not have anyone


Fine, anypony. I will not have anypony


Out. Now.

The sheer yumminess will definitely bring them out of the dumps, and straight back into your story!

I will not have anypony telling people, or ponies, to use purple prose in my guide. The bit about having fun was good, but you have to let the reader imagine for themselves. Give them just enough to form their own picture.

Now that’s just silly. My purple prose drove four ponies, a mule and a griffon to sabotage.

That was the donuts, not you. Bet you couldn’t have done it without those eclairs being there, either. There isn’t anything actually there to describe in a book, and I’d rather not have people drooling all over their keyboards.


Now, can we get this straight? I’m the author. I write this. You’ve... joined in.

You’re The Author, not the author. Besides, you’re not even very good. Neither is he.

I’m competent! That was some good writing with Discord, right there. Lots of humour.

It could have been a teeny-weeny bit better.

Oh yeah?

Yep! That ‘wat’ just looks out of place, and you recovered far too quickly. Come oon, who just starts talking to somepony in their computer?

It’s hard to type ‘surprise’. I can hardly put interrobangs everywhere, no believable character would be cynical enough to be typing normally just after meeting some kind of dimension-crossing force.

You seemed fine.

Real people don’t have to be believable characters. Just look at Bono from U2, what a Mary Sue.

What’s a Mary Sue? And you must be very cynical. Right after I jumped in, you used capitals and three dots after the sentence.

You don’t know that, and you were still trying to write my guide. F’nah, I say to you. F’nah. As for the ‘dots’, just shows how taken aback I was. I never use ellipses.

She’s right, you know.

Hang on, I was at least writing you before. Are you messing around, Pinkie?


Oh, be quiet. What my delightfully random little pony is trying to communicate is that you are a character in a story. Just like us. The only difference being, you’re in denial.

Nope, pretty sure I’m writing this.

Noo, noo. You think you’re writing this. It’s your character. You’re inside a hipster fanfic about writing hipster fanfics. Can you do that? Can you hipster twice?

So, I can accept the word of a fictional pink pony talking through the medium of Google Docs, or everything I’ve ever been led to believe, including the fact I exist. Sorry, but no Matrix.

Pure egotism. If you aren’t writing Pinkie, then why is she communicating entirely in tired cliches? Or typing like she would talk? In fact, can you even remember what you did yesterday, or is it a bit of a blank? Hmm?

This is all just the lack of sleep. I’m going to bed.


This may have looked like fun to write, but it wasn’t.