• Member Since 2nd May, 2013
  • offline last seen Last Wednesday

Gapeagle


Inspired to write when there's no time. Inspired to rest when there's time to write.

E
Source

I am Starlight Glimmer. I used to guide an isolated village up north in equality and enlightenment. That was until the ungrateful denizens betrayed me. I had to flee their unrighteous anger and hide into the mountains.

That was not so long ago. I now sit here in front of a Ponyville school, waiting, watching, praying, and planning. I have no power, no allies, and certainly no friends. That is going to change.
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Equestria Daily's WTG "Cutie Map" entry!

Chapters (11)
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Comments ( 178 )

:twilightsmile:
Fantastic story, some of the best Starlight characterization I've seen. You really captured just how devoted she is to her ideology.
Also,

"That's what they all say." Twilight huffed. "I'm going to give you this chance to run for your life. You have stepped so low this time, I'm not sure if I can forgive you. You run, or I'm dragging you to Celestia and letting her deal with you."

That was awesome. I'm not sure why, but that was my favorite part of the entire story.
Upvoted and fav'd.

5969404 Thanks mate! It means a lot to me!

5969412
No problem! I love Starlight Glimmer stories, and the prospect of her going back to Ponyville is brilliant.
Oh, and 25,000 bits alive? No matter how much a bit is worth, that's a lot of cash for her.

5969435 Well, any pony that can brainwash the population of a small village and rule over them as a dictator could be a threat to the government. In some way, Starlight tried to form her own country in Equestrian territory.

Also, a villain escaping judgement is probably rare so Celestia has more than a few bits ready to encourage the ponies to watch out or pursue the villain.

5969454
Makes you wonder... now that she's on the run, will she seek asylum in the griffon kingdoms? Or maybe travel even further away? I think it'd be hilarious to watch the Mane 6 have to sit through meetings with changeling diplomats to see if they can extradite her,

5969475 Personally, I think she'll try her best to stay in Equestria as her ideals matter the most there. But she may flee if her life depends on it.

5969489
We know from TJotTS (whether you consider that canon is up to you) that zebras live outside of Equestria. But... do they have cutie marks? Zecora has that cutie-mark-esque thing, but is it a genuine cutie mark?

Maybe she'd live with the zebras, as a compromise between ideology and safety.

A wanted mare with false harmonic beliefs goes to ponyvile were the tree of harmony choose live.... The only way she could be save is if Discord protects her.... Oh wait.

5969827 It's like an atheist entering a church. He does not fear the inside because he doesn't believe the church's god. Starlight probably believes the Elements of Harmony are not harmony at all. So she doesn't fear the tree.

5969864 dispite it being literally the most powerful being on the planet harmony itself given form and who power it literally most powerful then all pegasus, earth ponies, unicorns, alicorns and the avatar of Chaos itself combined?

5969864 that sounds like flat earth atheism.

5969928 I didn't say it would make sense.

5969987 her plan and ideology in a world of editrch abominations, predatory races, entity that feed on love is something I expect Discord to make.

Well, I got a bit bored, so I decided to actually go and read this story you said you were having problems with. Because procrastination, right?

Anyway, it's not bad. Some bits of wording feels wrong, but not really anything that struck me as horrible. What I did take issue with was the content. The story seems to take the stance that, here, Starlight is right and Twilight is wrong. It cements this by having her 'win' her arguments and be presented as a rational individual who doesn't fly into a rage when people don't agree with her.

Whilst I'm open to the idea she might be right, or at least misrepresented, I don't think this is the way to do it. In 3K words, the story came off more as a philosophy lesson than an actual story, and felt rather pretentious as a result. I've done something similar with one of my own earlier stories, and that didn't end so great either.

Presenting Starlights motive here felt pretty dry. Most of the stuff she's feeling and doing it more or less told to me quickly. I'd have liked to see her interact with the world around her in more than a 'have a lesson on cutie marks' kind of way. If the story took it's time to ease me into the idea that Starlight was misunderstood, then this would have gone down a lot easier for me. As it's presented here, she's the one with all the answers, and everyone else just hasn't given it any thought. It takes away a lot of depth the story was trying to have, and makes the other characters look stupid as a result. If anything, it's possible that's what people took offence with.

In short, Starlight feels off, as does Twilight. I can forgive the CMC because they're kids, and eating out of a strangers palm is what they do. But the story hasn't set up the idea that Starlight was misunderstood, and that makes the whole message go crooked, like it's grasping at straws.

Stuff like not giving it a proper ending or objective probably didn't help either. She arrives, she leaves, and nothing tangible changes. It can feel a lot like a waste of time unless it has some seriously strong writing or something worthwhile to back it up. I'm not sure I felt much of that here, since (for me) the 'lesson' didn't carry thee story.

I think this is a story that's preventing me from fully enjoying it, and is too big for it's shoes. It doesn't go into insulting territory or anything, but when you're trying to convey some kind of message (as this story is regarding cutie marks, whatever your opinion on the matter is) I think you'll find subtlety to be a much stronger ally than a pedantic monologue.

Does this help? I understand I sound a bit negative, but that's because it's far easier to pick apart the bad than highlight the good (at least for me). Personally, there was a phase where I tried to make my stories smart and intellectual, as opposed to entertaining. Even when I reread them, I don't actually find them as fulfilling, if that makes sense. I think some of that happened here.

5970021 Well, I was never trying to show that Starlight is right. I'll take it as a positive that you say she wins her arguments because that was what I was going for. Though, we all know that winning the argument does not mean you're in the right. Also, she never went into rage mode because people disagreed with her, she raged when they turned on her and made her into the bad guy of the situation.

Also, I thought it would make sense that no one has really thought of cutie marks like Starlight. In the premiere, the mane 6 were surprised and greatly confused by the village, so much so that Starlight had to explain it herself. Would the CMC, who only seek cutie marks have more knowledge of the subject. Starlight is bringing up an issue that has never been an issue before. If a person comes up to you and starts talking about Buddhism and you had no idea what it was, you'll seem pretty dumb too.

You aren't the first to mention that about Twilight. I was trying to make it that Twilight was so angry that she didn't want to lecture Starlight and she didn't want to blast her into a million pieces either. So she did something in between. But yes, I didn't do well on her.

This is my first try at something like this. I have never done a one-shot nor ever tried to put a lesson in there. If there is a lesson in here.

Hope I don't sound like I'm desperately trying to defend myself, I'm just trying to make sure there's no misunderstandings.

5970086 I got no problem with people defending themselves. I actually think it's critical: it prevents me from being an arse with no consequences.

Presentation is important with this kind of thing. Since no real counterargument was presented, the assumption any reader is going to come to is that the one with the most logical arguments (or in fact, any argument at all if the other side isn't providing any real counterargument) is 'right'. Obviously this doesn't mean she's right, but consider that if no counterargument is given, the story is as good as taking Starlight's side, and anybody who disagrees with Starlight, disagrees with the story, and if you disagree with the story, that ends in downvotes, quite possibly. Presentation is very important, and even if you don't hold the beliefs of a character, if they're being presented as being right (like they are here) that's the stance the story will take.

And I stand by what I said about setting it up. Whatever the character might have been feeling or not, we were presented with her being a power-hungry tyrant. Doing a one-eighty will jar readers more than get them to sympathize with her. I think you should have taken a lot more time to get us acquainted with not-tyrant-Glimmer.

5970099 I see. I see.

If I ever do something like this again (which is probable) I'll take what you said in consideration. Thanks mate!

Huh. Starlight tries to poison the mind of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Just... despicable. I LOVE IT!!!
Starlight's character was well done here.

5970383 I've recently put it into my favorites. Now that I have read your story, could you read one of mine?

5970392 I am don't worry. I am a slow reader though.

5970086 oh so she right? There no death world were a all powerful god can simply walk in and do whatever he wants?

Ahh the mind of the hypocrite, proven wrong, exposed as the liar she is but she keeps going with her rhetoric. The Crusaders will come to understand Starlight is wrong about cutie marks, and that they only trap you if you let them. Of course we know she will never give up her mark, what makes her "special" and spreading her philosophy is all about making herself MORE special, if everyone pony else is equally mediocre to one another then Starlight is ever more special. On the surface Starlight may even believe what she says, but her philosophy is not about making everypony free but restricting everypony in the same way, but that's what makes her a villain isn't it?

Not bad but I think it needs a little more... Maybe a continuation?

5976532 I haven't really thought about it, but I haven't ruled it out either. I'll need to think about where I could lead it.

I like it. A lot. :rainbowkiss:

This could be great if you continue it, but as a oneshot it's already one of the better SG stories I've read. Her thought process here is frighteningly robotic. She really believes her vision is inevitable and that she is just a means to that end.

Corruption of the young? In any other case perhaps, but the CMC are so devoted to getting their marks that they get themselves and others into lots of trouble. Maybe Starlight's message will at least mitigate those impulses.

Starlight is so manipulative!
I love it!

5978399
5979401

Thanks. Actually, I'm working on a sequel already (and maybe more, if there is demand for it). But I'll release it as another one-shot before deciding to make it into a series.

Even though I do not think the CMC are easily "corrupted," but they probably do lack the discernment to hold by their own learning and personal views.

This is Starlight Glimmer as she should be. She is the one who believes everything she is selling. And uses Diamond Tiara as the concrete proof of her way of thinking: that cutie marks do more damage than good in the long run. The problem is that Twilight Sparkle doesn't comprehend her enemy. Twilight thinks she's lying. Lying implies an attempt to deceive. In Starlight's mind, all she's said is the truth. Starlight Glimmer believes in fairness, the problem is that fairness can be taken to a destructive extreme the same as anything. In Starlight's messah-complex mind, she is merely the messenger.

5985616 Exactly. Everyone thinks Starlight was some power hungry villain (she still kinda is) but she is simply disillusioned with her own thoughts and believes. The easiest person to deceive is yourself and she is always forcing her own thoughts upon her instead of having a broader worldview.

I like it. Interesting how they both right in their own way. But I do hope Glimmer would not 'reform' but find some middle ground with Friendship ideas. After all, her Equeality does have its merits. I can see, say, Changelings being very open to the idea of everyone being the same (except Queen, maybe). It'll be funny to have Chrysalis meet her at some point and have a conversation.

5985616

I think that's the fun of story - they'll try to make her give up lying and deceiving... and fail to realize she's not. I can see Applejack being amazed by Glimmer's honesty. Even if her ways is somewhat destructive and misplaced, she is believer.

5987208 That also makes her so dangerous. I forgot who said it but "There is nothing more dangerous than a man who believes himself right with God." Her zeal for her ideals could be dangerous to others.

I see this being an issue. She is just going back and she will talk to the CMC's making Twilight angry again. Hell, I see Twilight being angry for Celestia sending her back again.

5987355 Well, Twilight wasn't too happy when Celestia gave them Discord to reform. I think Twilight will be a little more warmed up to the idea, but then again, Starlight's actions are recent in her mind.

We shall see...

Starlight has a bounty over her head, and she decides to travel first to Ponyville, then to friggin´ Canterlot? :derpyderp2: is this mare beyond stupid?

Also, her arguments were poorly elaborated, and she crumbles to easily . Starlight could have retorted Celestia that Luna wanted to be her equal , and receive the same adoration from their subjects. When she was denied, she became Nightmare Moon. Star could also ask Celestia how much political relevance Luna actually enjoys after her "reformation " , or how many ponies come to her court for advice in comparation with the Sun Princess .

5987502 Starlight lived in an isolated village where she didn't even know of Twilight until the mane 6 visited. Her knowledge on Luna is probably very little. This Starlight is also a coward but never hiding or shying away from threats. She fears Celestia but can confront her with pride and dignity until the princess taps into her past. After that, she kinda loses it. Also, the Luna/Celestia comparison was not about how ponies saw them politically, but about how the sisters are different. Also, Celestia threw away the Nightmare Moon fiasco by acknowledging it and saying that they forgave each other. That's why Starlight didn't comment on it.

I thought the first chapter was great as a one-shot. The second chapter and the ones that follow should be a separate story altogether. I believe, just my opinion, that additional chapters distract from how good the initial story was all on it's own.

"I am only necessary for this generation." I responded. "There has to be some form of order to establish a new regulation. Once it's established in the hearts of the ponies, such rule is no longer needed. I was never going to rule them once they could rule themselves."

AH-HA!!! :pinkiegasp: The "withering away of the state!"

That PROVES it! :pinkiehappy:

5988246 No offense mate, but I'm going to keep it like this until I get more votes for separating it. You, know, just in case the majority wanted it to be the same. And thanks for the feedback. I was worried about it distracting the one-shot value of the first story too, but if yo don't mind and if others don't mind, I'm going to keep it like this until more voice their opinion.


5988359 Haha! Exactly!

5988479
None taken. You asked for input and I offered up what I thought. :raritywink:

5988542 And it was great feedback. :raritystarry:

Starlight has no tact. She should begin analizing the people she talks with, memorizing their traits and gaining some measure of trust before even begin to indoctrinate.

5996012

In front of me was an opportunity to send out my message under the disguise of their reforming.

She's kinda doing what you're saying. She'll act like the "reforming" process is working on her so that she can gain the trust to do MORE with it.

Oh, and she analyzes everything about the characters in the story. She can pick at everyone's thoughts and feelings except Celestia.

Tact? Yeah, that word is pretty foreign to her. She's not subtle. She's not very considerate. Or is she?

Let's see how she handles it.

Starlight has already distanced herself from the Six major Ponyville players. She might convince a few but most will look to the Mane Six and what they think. And honestly, Starlight has a very rough road. Enough that I don't think she will reform.

This is a villain who really plans all the way through, she may be a mortal but damn is she good. She able to captive her listeners with words that poison their minds without them knowing, Spike should warn his mom as well as his sister...this is getting good.

This story's heading in an interesting direction. I really want to know what happens next. I'm not so sure that it's possible for Starlight to be reformed, especially when Twilight Sparkle is the would-be reformer...

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