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Twilight Velvet, acclaimed author and proud mother of two, has been given a new task by her publisher. But her first assignment as editor for a fresh, young writer may prove to be more than she bargained for, as it turns out the submission isn't as fictional as she thought.

A chance encounter that will lead to the team-up of two dream authors, the creation of the most beloved adventure series in Equestrian literature and the beginning of a life-long friendship.

Everfree Northwest 2015 Pre-Con Contest 2nd Place Winner! Thank you so much, everyone!

Big thanks to Daedelean for proof-reading.

Cover Art is a composite of artworks by Dreamcastworks and Ambris. (Note: This is NOT an anthro story. I just liked these pictures as a cover.)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 47 )

A new Story from Ranko :raritystarry: and it's a Story for "Everyone" :pinkiegasp:

...well it makes Sense considering what you wrote it for :pinkiesmile: (Good Luck btw :pinkiehappy:)

Ahh, friendship :twilightsmile:

Thank you for letting me proofread it, it was fun :)

I love this story. It even fits with my headcanon a little. :coolphoto:

Great story, it needs to be longer, perhaps sequel chapters, though. :p

Gotta say, I like this explanation for the origins of Daring Do and A.K. Yearling, especially Velvet's involvement.

Also for how Twilight got into the series.

Well, the contest rules limit the story to 3,000 words.

Though I wouldn't be opposed to exploring what happened to Daring Do in between this point in her life (where she is clearly more trusting of others) and the older mare we've seen in Daring Don't. Maybe after the contest ends.

I, like many others, thought that Twilight Velvet was the author of the Daring Do books, as her description in the toys and the awards in the comics seemed to imply. This was my idea to make sense of that notion since the episode Daring Don't introduced A.K. Yearling and seemingly buried that idea. The best of both worlds, so to speak.

New head cannon accepted.

5753016 Same here on Twilight Velvet. Plus, it helps explain how Twilight was able to track down A. K. Yearling's residence.

Exactly. Also it explains why Twi is such a big fan of the series and how she knows so many factoids about Yearling (like where she studied literature) to begin with.

This will probably be the last story I read for a time, but I liked it. Made me smile and chuckle at some points. Good luck with everything else, Ranko :twilightsmile:

Taking another look at this again, I'd kind of like to see a sequel chapter where Velvet goes to talk to Yearling, and...

Velvet: Yearling...care to explain why my daughter is in your manuscript?
Yearling: Your daughter?
Velvet: The purple alicorn who showed up in chapter 7, accompanied by the rainbow maned pegasus who helped out so much in chapter 12.
Yearling: ...your daughter's a Princess?
Velvet: Indeed. Why is she in the story?
Yearling: She was there. She and her friends tracked me down to find out why the book was delayed.
Velvet: ...that's going to be an awkward conversation with the publishing company. They'll probably think I'm trying to insert my daughter into your story...

5754916 And why does your narration make note of her curves so often!

...what curves?

5755081 Velvet to Daring in regards to Twilight.

...Velvet said nothing about Twilight's curves. What are you talking about?

Oh hey, this is pretty cool. Like, really cool, even. The initial background info, the meeting, the disagreements, and then the action. There's a good deal of imagination in here, and it appears to be impervious to the cutting edge of the Canon Sword.
Take my approval. :twilightsmile:

Sweet buttery Jesus, this was great. Which doesn't bode well for me since we're competing. :raritydespair:

Honestly, there's so many great entries for this competition. If my story somehow gets an honorable mention, I'll call that a win.

5781258 No kidding. Best of luck. :twilightsmile:

I'm sure this is probably just me, but I feel that your cover picture does this story a disservice. It's a fabulous story, it really is. I LOVE how you were able to combine the show's and the comic's canon here by having the two mares become friends and collaborators.

The cover art though... again it might just be me, but I think there is (sadly) some truth to people judging a book by its cover. It honestly made me underestimate the story and had I not selected it myself out of the list of stories I don't believe I would have given it another glance. It has the two mains in it, but it tells me nothing of the story or the tone. It looks much more 'kawai sexy pony romp', really. It's just an observation, but I would just like to see your wonderful work get more attention and if there are other like-minded readers like me scrolling through they might form similar assumptions.

First of all, thanks for the compliment.

However, I must disagree with your observation that the cover says nothing about the story. I chose those two pieces, because they precisely emphasized the differences in attitude between the two characters, in facial expression, body language and overall look. Velvet is thinking while writing. Daring is charging ahead physically. Velvet's clothes are clean, Daring's show wear and tear from her adventures. That's why I chose those images. Had I found something that exemplifies the two characters better in my mind, I would have used that.

I know a lot of people in the fandom associate anthro with clop, which is a shame. Cause I think anthro characters are much more expressive. We, as humans, can relate to facial expressions and body language much more easily like that. And I don't think the art is overly sexualized, considering what other pony art this fandom has produced.

The description and the story tags make it clear what this story is about. So frankly, if anyone is deterred by the cover art, it's their loss. I don't see any reason to change it, just to replace it with some stock images of the two characters from the show or going with something less expressive in my opinion.


I chose those two pieces, because they precisely emphasized the differences in attitude between the two characters, in facial expression, body language and overall look. Velvet is thinking while writing. Daring is charging ahead physically. Velvet's clothes are clean, Daring's show wear and tear from her adventures.

Upon closer inspection, I get where you're coming from, but I did have to open the image in a new tab to see those details more clearly. You don't have to change the cover if you don't want, I was just stating how it appeared to me. It's still a great story and I faved it. So you got me, at least.:twilightsheepish:

It's fine. I always appreciate an honest opinion. And you're not the first to comment on the cover art. I still chose to run with it, knowing that some people might get the wrong idea at first glance. Then again, mistaken first impressions also play a part in the story itself.:raritywink: So that makes the cover wonderfully appropriate in a meta sense, even though that wasn't the idea.

I wrote a review of this story. It can be found here.


First off, I loved the fic, not only because of the main friendship but also because it casually shows where Twilight gets her love of reading AND works in that award she got in the comic strip for Daring Doo.

I do agree with Ckat. I get where you are coming from but there are three minor issues with the image,

1) Giant Boobs, I saw those first because they are central to each image and large compared to everything else. This stands out in pony fiction as being related to clop because ponies and EQ don't have large boobs. This problem is enhanced by the the softness and shadowing of Twilight Velvet. It's not uncommon to see a fic try to use eye candy art to get some extra views and this is what I assumed when I first saw it.

2) Twilight Velvet's picture is very soft compared to Daring's. That's not to say it's a bad picture, but when it's small it makes it hard to distinguish which thing is a shadow and which is a body part at first glance. It also makes it hard to see her face or to tell that that's a quill.

3) Daring should be on the left or the image should be inverted. In cartooning they use leaning to distinguish when plot moves ahead or is referencing the past. It's very subtle but when used will it really helps. I could get into more detail but the short of it is that by having daring on the right angled to the left being second it breaks the flow of the image. Actually, if you kept them where they are and flipped Twilight Velvet's image it might work better because then they are facing each other, counterbalancing each other and making the image more of a question, thus also enticing potential readers more.

I should also point out that the fact that we're critiquing your cover art means we have very little to critique on your writing. In a way I was really surprised with how good this was because of the image. One of the keys to writing a good story is to fulfill and exceed all promises made to the reader. While the story exceeds the promises made it doesn't fulfill them. Thus, even after reading the fic it still feels wrong to me.

Well, here's how I see it.

1) They're not that big! Seriously, I don't think the art draws attention to the breasts exclusively. Especially in Daring's case, I'd say that other body parts are far more prominent, namely her athletic legs swinging over the wall and her flared wings. Physical strength is one of her main characteristics after all. In Velvet's case, I can see where you're coming from, but that's mainly due to the focus of the perspective resting on her upper body. I've already explained what I see in the pictures and why I think anthro images can relate more to a viewer, so I won't repeat myself. They both happen to have breasts. That's just the way it is.

2) I see your point, but there's nothing I can do about it. I didn't draw the picture, and FimFiction automatically resizes the cover art after it's uploaded.

3) Now that's an interesting point. I don't really know much about photo editing, or sequential art for that matter, so I'm limited by what I can do in MS Paint. But flipping Velvet to face right should be manageable. I even considered it, because having the characters face each other would probably be better. But I decided against it, because I didn't want to edit the pictures too much. I might play around with it a little to see if I can improve on that aspect.

But the bottom line is this: I'm not gonna replace the cover art for something else, simply because I haven't seen any piece of artwork (with or without breasts) that I think captures the differences in attitude between these two characters any better than these two do while still harmonizing with each other in art style to this degree. (And I don't think I've seen any single piece of artwork that actually shows the two characters together, period.)

I should also point out that the fact that we're critiquing your cover art means we have very little to critique on your writing.

Aww, that's nice of you to say.:twilightsmile: And I'm glad you at least enjoyed the story itself.

I was with you until the end, since it combines the headcanon that Velvet writes Daring Do with the canon revealed in season 4. In my opinion your weak point is in Twilight's characterization, since she has an intelligent vocabulary, but apparently cannot read. Earlier you mentioned Cadence foalsitting her, which should probably mean that Twilight is already into reading. So I think you messed up a bit. Fix, and I could support this story in the contest. Also, I believe Smartpants is 'girl,' and Velvet would know this.

This is Twilight way younger than we've ever seen her in the show. In humans, most babies start to talk before they can properly walk, let alone read. We've never seen in the show at what age Cadence first foalsat for Twilight. (Although admittedly in the comic she can read as Cadence meets her presumably for the first time, which is a small continuity hiccup, I'll admit. But that's much further along in time than the scene I'm portraying here.) But the point of that last scene is that this is where Twilight first gets her love for reading. It makes her want to learn reading in the first place.

Also, I believe Smartpants is 'girl,' and Velvet would know this.

:rainbowhuh: So? What's your point? Velvet never mentions her in dialogue. I'm sure Twilight would see the doll as female. But the narration identifies it as a doll, an object, hence 'it.' That's no doubt also how Velvet would see it, unless she's talking to Twilight directly about the doll.

5851623 If the scene is so much earlier, don't you think you ought to at least downgrade Twilight's lexicon to make her sound more believably like a child (in my case, Dawn not only has a reduced vocabulary, and even stumbles over the occasional word, she also has a different mannerism compared to how she is as a grown mare)? Or am I the only one with this hang-up? That may well be the case.

From my observations, mothers can be extremely empathetic toward their children, and think of objects in the same terms they do. If you do not believe Velvet does this, that is fine too, and your right as the author to write her your own way.

Well, most of Twilight's dialogue consists of only one or two words at a time. That's perfectly in line with a small child. I suppose the only line that really stands out is this one: “You always smile so much when you look at these things, so I wanted to know what they were.” Which is a little more sophisticated than what you might expect from a pre-schooler based on sentence structure alone, I'll admit. Then again, Twilight's a smart filly, and the vocabulary is still fairly basic.

From my observations, mothers can be extremely empathetic toward their children, and think of objects in the same terms they do. If you do not believe Velvet does this, that is fine too, and your right as the author to write her your own way.

She may. She may not. The main thing in my eyes is still that we're dealing with third-person narration here, not Velvet's immediate words or thoughts. As such, I feel that a genderless pronoun is more appropriate here.

Official EFNW Pre-Con Contest final round review

To begin with, congratulations for making it this far. It means you're at least in the top 10%.
I found this story pretty enjoyable, and it was fun seeing Velvet gradually understand what was going on. The last scene struck me as a bit odd, and a complete departure from the rest of the story as well as the contest theme... but whatever. It does at least put an epilogue-ish ending note on the thing, and the rest is quite good. Things seemed to go a bit fast, but I suppose that's to be expected, given the word count restriction. The idea itself was unique and enjoyable; a great idea having those two meet each other. All that said, I didn't quite see anything in it to bump it to the top of my list, even though it's enjoyable enough to stay well away from the bottom. Thankfully, in this round of judging, that still helps.

Wow, top 10% :raritystarry: Thanks. :yay:

And thanks for the comment. As for the epilogue, I can see where you're coming from. There are two things that connect to the theme and the rest of the story. A) The name drop of Daring Do and the implication that Yearling has accepted Velvet's help in polishing her books by the author name given as A.K. Yearling and B) Velvet calling Yearling a friend. Neither of those probably really needed the reiteration, though, as it was clear enough in the story itself.

The rest of it is probably a little self-indulgent on my part, because in my head-canon this is what initially gives Twilight her love for reading, so I just wanted to put her in there. Also, filly Twilight is adorable.:twilightsheepish:

Hi there, I'm reviewing this story as a candidate for the Everfree Northwest writing contest community choice award.

Others have commented on the cover image and the unnecessary ending scene, but I absolutely loved this story. It was smooth, it had a great bit of character reveal, and even ties the show and comic canon together nicely. You hit on some very believable characterization for two characters who have had very little screen time and it was great fun to see their interaction. The idea of Daring Do being a great adventurer AND a compelling storyteller never sat right with me and this story finally settles it for me. I guess I've got me a new head-canon. :yay:

I'll be adding it to my list of nominees for the award! Good luck!


Aaaaand it just got Second Place :twilightsmile:

5781258 Kudos on the second place! I knew you'd do well, but this was a pleasant surprise.

This was really neat. I like how you've teamed these two together—it's a cool way of tying together the main two Daring Do author theories together. Clever, and congrats on second place!

I love stories that involve Twilight's mother. This story was exceptionally cute.:twilightsmile:

5753241 This, this is good, more please?

This is really good. I like the fact that Twilight Velvet knows the truth about the Daring Do books and I bet that Twilight Sparkle asked her mom for advice when they went to Daring's cottage.

Headcanon accepted! :twilightsmile:

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