• Member Since 16th Sep, 2015
  • offline last seen 7 hours ago

Crescent Pulsar


Through the storm, may you become a rainbow. ― Devin Townsend

E

Before going to Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle connects more dots than usual, which gives her more reason to face Nightmare Moon alone.


(Pamphile (PAM-feh-lee) means "friend of all" in Greek.)


AkumaKami64 continues this story in Pamphile: Alicorn of Harmony.

Chapters (1)
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 56 )

Just leave it to Twilight Sparkle to do it wrong, better. :rainbowlaugh:

BTW, is it 'pamphile' or 'panphile'? Pamphile is the daughter of Platea, and credited with being the first to weave silk and thread from cotton. :twilightsmile:

7131768 It's "Pamphile." Although the root word for "all" is "pan," as in the case of "Pandora," sometimes the N is substituted for an M, depending on the sound that follows (I'm supposing). I'll be happy, though, so long as people pronounce the last two syllables in a way that's similar to "filly," rather than exactly like "file." :yay:

I wonder why they didn't try getting the manticore or Stephen to come along in their quest...

7132127 Manticore, Steven, a haunted tree, a Shadowbolt... and Nightmare Moon. Add Twilight and that makes six... :rainbowlaugh:

I....I might just do this one. Gods, I can't even begin to imagine how Discord would react to....I'm trying come up with a good nickname for this Twilgiht. Harmony-Twilight? Either way, I might do this. Thank you for creating this piece.

7136115 I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Whether you pick it up or not, I just want to stress that you don't have to worry about limiting your imagination. Have fun, even if it never leaves the confines of your mind.

A wild writing workshopper appears!

This looks like it could be a cool story, and I'm curious to know more! Unfortunately, the prose is too cluttered for me to be willing to read 6500 words. I'd suggest trying to pare down what you're saying and concretize your prose more. Let me grab the first paragraph for reference:

Twilight Sparkle stood just outside of the Everfree Forest, upon a dirt pathway that led into it. While she didn't like the idea of exploring a strange forest all by herself, especially during the dark of night, she had decided that it would be necessary. It wasn't just because a certain group of ponies were too unknown to her to be reliable, aside from the smidgen of experience that she could ascertain a certain degree of unreliability, but due to the nature of her endeavor. So, to avoid being joined or followed, she had read The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide to herself before teleporting away from the library with the aforementioned book still in her possession.

There are a lot of little low-information phrases and structures filling this up and slowing down your story so that it's hard for the reader to really get into it. "Just" is rarely useful. Strings of prepositional phrases are often unnecessary, and in many cases can be reworded. Bits like "a certain group of ponies" are unnecessarily vague and can be spiced up by concretizing them. If I were editing this guy, I might do a (pretty light) first pass on that paragraph and end up with something more like this:

Twilight Sparkle stood on a dirt pathway leading into the Everfree Forest. She disliked the idea of exploring a strange forest by herself, especially during the dark of night, but she'd decided it was necessary. She had read The Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide—she understood what she was supposed to do, and that she was supposed to seek help—but Twilight hardly knew these Ponyville ponies, and she had grave doubts about their reliability. [Concrete example w/ Rainbow or Pinkie would be good here.] So, to avoid being joined or followed, she had retrieved the reference guide from the library and teleported here directly.

This could still be pared down and made more concrete (e.g. I don't think it'd hurt to have Twilight thinking about Nightmare Moon and setting the high stakes for this story straight out of the gate), but the above is at least a start on smoothing out some of the language. To be clear, I'm not trying to knock your story here—just to give some writing pointers for moving up to the next level. It's pretty rare for a story to catch my attention these days, and the premise and a 37+ / 0- vote record got me in the door—so you're doing a lot right already. But I think you can do even more right by working on spicing up your prose.

7139341 I appreciate the input. It's extremely rare that I receive any that's even half as constructive and objective. Unfortunately, it's not going to do a person like myself much good; not any time soon, at least. By that, I mean to say that my literacy in language — despite its appearance — is nearly non-existent, and I'm not particularly intelligent besides, so a lot of the technical stuff goes right over my head. What you see here is the result of "feeling things out" for a decade and a half, some referencing of professional works, and the odd feedback that conveyed information that I could understand and implement. (Using the em dash instead of parenthesis, or using both, within the context of a story, for instance.) I'll try to keep the advice in mind, and hopefully it'll worm its way into my writing over time.

That said, most of the low-information phrases are intentional, and I consider it a part of my style to a certain extent, more or less. That may or may not seem strange, but I probably don't have a typical background for a writer, and — admittedly — I'm fine with it if what I write is readable to most. That, and I kind of have this thing about being homogeneous that I can do little about, so I don't mind if I happen to stick out in some way, even if that way happens to be a flaw. I figure I'm fine so long as I'm not making an utter mess out of the language.

I didn't mention Nightmare Moon sooner since I assume that most will read the summary. I know that doesn't make mentioning it in the first paragraph redundant, but I prefer to give my readers the benefit of the doubt: that they're intelligent enough to think of certain, relevant things, and figuring out the implicit information, rather than needing neon signs and silver platters for everything.

The "certain group of ponies" was decided upon because it was reflective of Twilight's perspective, rather than me purely being implicit about it, although it was also a means of paring things down, instead of dropping names and/or examples. It was one of those things where I gave the readers the benefit of the doubt, concerning what I said in the last paragraph. (If they don't know who I'm referring to, I might just have to wonder if they've watched My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. :twilightsheepish: )

Anyway, what you said about the usage of "just" should be easy enough for me to do something about. Overall, though, it may take some time for my writing to evolve in the direction that you're pointing me toward. I'm slow like that. Slow and steady wins the race, though, right? :trollestia:

This was a great read, and the idea of Twilight doing it all alone is not one I've seen before, which made it even more interesting.

Twilight's thought processes got across really well, and her line of thinking was perfectly logical, which makes it believable as she is the academic type. She seemed a little more self-confident than her canon counterpart, but still very much herself, and the story itself couldn't have happened the same way were she not a little more confident than we usually see her. Overall, your Twilight is a smart, well-executed interpretation of her character and a likeable protagonist.

That said, I think the segment after the fight could have been better if instead of telling the reader all of Celestia's reasons, you'd written a conversation between her and Twilight in which Celestia explains. Not to bash your writing, but I think that part would have felt more natural if it hadn't been just stated to the reader. Other than that, though, I had no issues with the way the story was written and found it much more entertaining than I had expected.

Another thing: you should really add the 'Alternate Universe' tag to the story. The setting may be the same, but what Twilight does in the story is considerably different from canon, so the story does technically take place in an alternate universe (one in which Twilight goes it alone, rather than with her friends).

I will admit that the idea of writing something with this idea interests me a great deal. I have a lot on my plate right now, but if I ever write something, I'll be sure to let you know.

Thanks for the story and keep up the good work!

7139815 I'm glad that you liked it.

The self-confidence wasn't so much an artificial addition as it was reasoned out for the change in circumstances, because now she had to get herself to do it all on her own. Frankly, because she can go overboard to not disappoint Celestia, I was more worried that people would think she wasn't manic enough. :pinkiecrazy:

I didn't attribute the story with an alternate universe tag because most stories on this site would have to have it according to the requirements being suggested; you'd have to write little that's different from canon for it to not apply. I put it like that, which sounds like hyperbole, because what I did (with the material, not my execution; I have nothing to assert on that front) was probably as close to being canonical as one can get with a divergence, because all of the catalysts for the divergence are from the canon, not an injection of something new. (I had found it odd that Twilight was surprised when Luna was revealed to be Celestia's sister, given what she had learned, and things snowballed from there.) Personally, I reserve the alternate universe tag when there are enough changes — without development in the story itself; it just is, already — in: character sex, race/species or personality/past experience, setting, date and the like.

As for the ending: I agree that it could have been better. That bit after the defeat of Nightmare Moon had taken the longest for me to write, because I'd had trouble figuring out exactly how to convey what needed to be conveyed without a bunch of dialogue that pads the story and doesn't quite fit with what came before it. There was that, and my own limitations as a writer, since I was unsure of how successfully I would have been able to juggle the behavior, actions and reactions of eight distinctive personalities, many of whom would be active in some way at the same time. Well, it could have just been between Celestia and Twilight, as you said, but I didn't want to leave out the other characters entirely, and not just because it was important for the story (and what may be hinted afterward). In the end, I opted for three paragraphs to fill a lull in the scene, instead of tacking on another scene full of dialogue and lacking a decent sunrise to ride off into. :derpytongue2:

This story is extremely clunky, being so exposition-heavy and long-winded that it feels like Twilight is stopping once every five feet to think back on the past twenty-four hours and remind herself that she has good reasons for acting the way she is. It feels like you're afraid the reader won't accept your premise, so you choose to bog down your story with these unnecessarily long explanations of why she's doing all of this, when most of it can just be reasonably extrapolated from the base premise 'Twilight thinks the way every Internet commenter thinks instead of being a flawed character with emotional bias'. You also substitute dialogue with exposition very needlessly.

Finally, this story does need an alternate universe tag.

7141728 I won't contest the clunkiness or long-windedness, whether you're right about them or not, but I think the use of exposition is fine, overall. Do note that much of it is present during the transition between events, when she is moving, and I chose to do it that way because I didn't want it to get in the way of the action.

I can't even fathom where you got the idea that I was replacing dialogue with exposition "very needlessly." You'd need to give me at least a good example or two of what you're talking about if your intent was to be helpful.

I don't really know what you're saying with the "Internet commenter" bit, but I feel like it has something to do with your assumption that I was afraid that the readers wouldn't accept my premise without selling it hard, which is false. In reality, I impart all of that information because I'm not assuming that every reader will know all of the details that are driving Twilight to take a different course of action. This way, not only can the not-so-informed reader be informed as they're reading the story, rather than not exploring voids and assuming I pulled something out of my butt, which damages believability, they could check back with the canon and — perhaps — have a, "Huh; I didn't notice that," moment. I just have a thing about staying as true to the material as I can, so I want to avoid looking like someone who makes too much stuff up for the desired effect.

I will maintain that this story does not need an alternate universe tag. I don't know what your definition of an alternate universe is (because it certainly doesn't match up with the site's definition), but I made no changes to the canon material to create the divergence, which a reader could find out with my helpful (not necessarily perfectly-executed) exposition. Twilight acts on information that she already had in canon, and nothing more. She was clearly against having company in canon, so actually managing to go it alone isn't strange. Aside from that, it's arguable how well I kept her in character, but I tried, because that's important to me. If she seems more brave than she should be, I reasoned that she could be under these new circumstances, where she only has herself to rely on.

7142020

I made no changes to the canon material to create the divergence

That is wrong.

You took the events of the pilot episode, threw them out, and instead wrote a new scenario based on Twilight's canon characterization. This story can be summarized as "What if Twilight didn't make friends?" If a story can be summarized as "What if something that happened in the show didn't happen/happened differently", then it takes place in an alternate universe.

This is a rewrite of an episode. Rewrites of episodes are not canon, therefore are not in the show's universe, therefore are labelled as AU.

Tack on a few hundred words at the end of this being a hypothetical scenario Twilight is telling Spike about, and it would count as being canon. But as it stands, this story posits that Twilight Sparkle became an alicorn in the first episode. Which I shouldn't have to tell you, ISN'T CANON.

7142052 ...That's so out-there in how wrong it is. That can't be true because what she acts upon also happened in canon; I had not changed that, and all of the resultant changes take place in the story. She read the books, just like in canon, and simply noticed the obvious connection between Celestia and Nightmare Moon. Just because I did not write that part out, and it was implied instead, does not give one liberty to deny its relevance or existence.

I think the truth of the matter actually lies between us living in alternate universes, in our heads. You're welcome to assume that I'm the one that lives in the wrong one and move on, because I have better things to do with my time, and you may or may not share that sentiment.

7142121 Why do you think that it should be considered canon because there are some canon details in it?

By that logic, every AU is canon, because they all have Twilight Sparkle and Twilight Sparkle is a pony who was born at some point in the canon past.

7142167 I could be wrong, but I think we have a misunderstanding. I'm not sure if what I said actually could be misinterpreted in the way that it seems to have been, but I'll clarify anyway: the story I wrote, itself, is not canon. It is, however, based entirely on canon, rather than any non-canon — not even a little. This Twilight receives the same information that canon Twilight did, which was responsible for the usual canon events, except she doesn't miss one of the highly-implied details (which is about as small of a change as one can make, as a reaction), and changes in events snowball from there.

Anyway, if that describes an alternate universe, whether it's based on the site's definition or our own, then fan-fiction — as a rule — would require that tag. If you still disagree with me, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

7142346 'Changes in events snowball[ing] from there' is the definition of an alternate universe.

7142384 We'll just have to agree to disagree, then.

Meeester
Moderator

Probably needs an AU tag, yeah.

7142503 Probably? Can you give me a specific reason?

I'm not unwilling to add it, since it would — technically — give the story more opportunities to be exposed, but I've yet to be convinced that it matches the requirements mentioned in the FAQ. I even just finished seeking out an outside opinion myself, a total stranger, who I assume would have a better idea than I would, because I'm fine with being wrong and coming out of it the wiser.

7142503
7142422 After some correspondence with SweetAI Belle, I've decided to agree with you (and one other commenter that suggested the alternate universe tag). Mainly because I don't see anything to gain from sticking with my own lengthy experiences when it comes to the grey area where divergence leads to an alternate universe, as if it's the be all and end all of things.

I was mostly sold by the explanation (given by SweetAI Belle, and paraphrased here) that non-alternate universes go about their business as if the new circumstances are normal, whereas the alternate universe highlights the differences from canon. It makes it much easier to see where the line is drawn.

I apologize if I was being a pain, Moriarty. I just don't make a habit of changing my mind wherever the wind blows, so I can appear stubborn if I'm not sufficiently convinced.

7142842 Appear stubborn? No shit. You have been the very definition of stubborn.

7142911 In this context, as opposed to being, say, gullible or weak-minded, not really. I think it's reasonable to expect someone to want belief and agreement to match up, rather than agreeing dishonestly. Also, do recall that I was the first to suggest a stopping point to our argument, and offered it more than once.

It just seems worse than it was because of how long it lasted, and not being what concluded the matter. But, as you can see, I can be convinced otherwise. I even reached out to a stranger: not to find out if I you were wrong, but because I prefer being right, which includes learning when I'm not so I can be. I didn't reach out to them to argue, but to offer and compare perspectives, to try and bridge the gap separating truth and understanding from another angle. That turned out well, I made a public admission of being wrong, and I even offered an apology, all of which I didn't have to do at all.

So, what more do you want from me? Not intelligence, hopefully, because I'm afraid that my idiocy cannot be cured. :pinkiecrazy:

7142948 All I wanted was for you to acknowledge a very silly, stupid mistake. You have done this.

I will now hopefully forget that I ever had the misfortune of wasting my day talking to you.

7142975 Insults, now? It might seem like it to you, but I don't think the mistake was either silly or stupid, much less very. The part of the FAQ that is relevant is not explicit. How much is significant? How far must things diverge during the story, not outside of it, before "generally do not qualify" can be cast aside? If the matter were strictly black and white, I'd agree with you, because I don't mind claiming stupidity when I'm being stupid, but it's not, so I won't.

Anyway, you've expressed a distinct disinterest in carrying on a conversation with me, so I'll leave it at that.

7143013 If its any comfort, Crescent, I've been in the same situation: literally. I started a fic where Discord got free when Nightmare Moon did in the series openers and I wasn't sure if I should add in the AU tag or not. But I kind of figured I should. Partially because its changing the very setting stone of the entire series, but also because when expanding on such a concept, you may end up rewriting a bit of the past in subtle ways.

In other words, its grey area where you should probably use it, just in case you want to expand more. I know you said you won't be expanding on this, but I mean this in general.

7150358 Well, I never really had a problem with following the definition being used here, if convinced that my story applies. The problem, for me, is that the alternate universe tag itself isn't informative enough: it doesn't tell a potential reader, whom I hope to attract, whether the departure from canon is a significant change to what someone would expect from the series they watched before they even glimpse the first word, or if the basis is the same but events play out very differently.

To me, that's a big difference that a single tag shouldn't encompass, because I'd certainly want to know if what I'm thinking of reading isn't going to be the familiar stuff I prefer, or if it's the familiar stuff that I prefer taken to an unfamiliar place. On the writer side of this, especially for this story, the alternate universe tag has a real potential to undermine what I wrote, because "alternate universe" is pretty much synonymous with "I made this stuff up," but the point of the story was an exercise in causing change while staying true to preexisting information.

In the end, though, I know that what I write isn't the sort of stuff that the vast majority of people are looking for, regardless of the venue, so it's not like I'm being all that disadvantaged by it.

i like the story. as for your comments.... i would not call you stupid...... i would call you too smart. or too logical..... but not stupid.

7171803 I'm glad you liked it.

I won't presume to be an intelligent person, and I have too many excuses for my self-deprecating behavior, so... :derpytongue2:

huh very interesting.

bep

Not only had she not expected the manticore to respond reasonably to her act of kindness, but she realized that no book had ever mentioned that such a thing was possible when it came to manticores. She began to seriously consider if Princess Celestia might actually be right about there being more to life than studying, as much as she didn't want to admit the possibility.

Yeah! The other part of life is research!

I think I prefer the original version, all things considered.

7237007 Well, it wasn't meant to be a replacement. It was just an exercise in creating change using the same information in the canon. I was kind of hoping that the story's merits would be based more on that, on the technical side of things, rather than the subjective, personal one.

7237808
I don't think you can really separate the technical from the subjective, really, given that literature (to use the term loosely) is all about personal impressions, but I suppose I can do that also.

The grammar was fine and no spelling errors stuck out, that is as much as I can say about it in purely technical terms.

As a story, I do not think it was a good one. This here falls under the broader umbrella of "stories that retell the pilot episodes with the names switched out." There is no real creativity to this. In all honesty, there's no meaningful difference to the original at all before the ending - and the changes to the ending are not an improvement. The entire thing feels like a Mary Sue story, except about Twilight instead an OC. She inexplicably and unreasonably solves a half dozen problems she shouldn't even be aware of all on her lonesome and gets Phenomenal Cosmic Power all out of nowhere, if only a few seasons early. It doesn't help that the explanation sounds like so much woo-woo handwaving and only makes sense in the most tenuous of ways.

This isn't really an independent story of its own. It's a proof of concept. Experimental, but also an experiment that didn't work out.

Also, while I don't exactly speak Greek, Pamphile kind of sounds like a neologism. I would have gone with Agapé. It has more historical context and fits the idea just as well.

7237925 I wasn't asking for them to be separated. It's just that, in my personal experience, most people judge things heavily on a fraction of what there is to judge. I know I shouldn't expect anything more from readers, all things considered, but I can still hope.

Okay, before I address the rest, please elaborate on what you mean with this: "She inexplicably and unreasonably solves a half dozen problems she shouldn't even be aware of..."

What is it that she shouldn't be aware of, and in what way are the problems inexplicably and unreasonably solved? Because I did not write what I did on a whim; I made sure to research and check relevant information thoroughly before I decided to do anything. The whole point was to make believable changes.

7237998
Well, the entire part of the early parts of the show is that every character has strengths and shortcomings. Twilight's are supposed to become visible during that early "hero's journey." She needs her friends to do these things for her, because they represent qualities she herself doesn't have and needs to slowly cultivate in herself through her friendship with them. Instead, she spontaneously develops something halfway between omniscience and enlightenment here and then poof! alicorn. I think it isn't hard to see how that is just a bit much.

7238014 I do get that, and that's perfectly fine. I didn't ask about that part of your response because that's a legit reason to like the original, and that's why I prefer the original myself (even if not for the reasoning mentioned, verbatim). However, that had in no way answered what I had asked. If I'm asking too much on the specifics, I'm perfectly willing to write a blog that addresses every step I took in the story.

7238057
I am afraid I simply do not understand your question, then. Sorry.

7238076 Alright. Let's start with a simple (not for you, but in comparison to other details that could be addressed) and direct question, then, and see what that turns up. Do you think it's inexplicable/unreasonable for Twilight to realize that Celestia had a sister before the time she realizes it in canon?

7238122
I believe I see what you mean. Yes, I think that to a degree, it is unreasonable. The thing about Luna's familial relationship to Celestia is that it is obvious in hindsight. It is something that you can pick out from context clues, I'll honestly say. It's a conclusion that someone could naturally come to. The problem is that it's something that makes sense more in terms of narrative logic than in-universe logic. The sun and the moon being siblings is something that makes for a good story twist, it has interesting mythological allusions, but it's not a solid conclusion you could come to from what is actually known at that point. It's guesswork that she somehow just knows is actually fact somehow.

Twilight could have worked that out, but she doesn't really have anything to base it on. It's an intuitive conclusion, a leap in logic, and that's the kind of thing her character just doesn't do. A lot of the other things in the lead-up to the confrontation have the same character. They are things she could have figured out, but really shouldn't have had, because it doesn't grow from who she is in the same way it grows from who the other characters are.

Twilight might have decided to give a river serpent her tail, example, but she wouldn't have done it out of generosity. She would have done it because she doesn't really care what her tail looks like - and more reasonably, she also would likely have simply teleported to the other side and ignored the whole thing. That's who she is, in the early episodes.

7238136 Then we are in disagreement. I think the connection is rather obvious as it is, and doesn't require much in the way of a leap in logic to conclude, if any. Who else has been raising the sun and moon "for generations since" (which is an indefinite amount of time) for Equestria, and what are the chances that there wouldn't be any documentation of Celestia performing that task for at least a thousand years, when Twilight is known for her historical knowledge (which goes at least as far back as Starswirl the Bearded, whom was around before Luna's banishment, as suggested in Luna Eclipsed) and general bookworminess? (There is the Summer Sun Celebration as well, which is about Nightmare Moon's banishment, and that probably helps as well.) Then there's the information from the second book she reads, about the Mare in the Moon. It tells of a pony who was banished to the moon, just like what was mentioned in the first book, by the elements of harmony, also mentioned in the first book, because she desired a world of eternal night, which -- again -- was mentioned in the first book. All of these connections very implicitly illustrates that she is the younger sister mentioned in the first book, to the one who has been raising the sun and moon for the last thousand years, yet she inexplicably stops making connections at the Mare in the Moon being Nightmare Moon.

...And what she ultimately decides to focus on is something that she possibly only heard of once before, from a subject that she probably isn't all that interested in (as illustrated in Feeling Pinkie Keen), which demonstrates having the kind of memory that would have helped her (given her historical knowledge) connect the dots about Celestia having a younger sister who became Nightmare Moon.

As for the part with the sea serpent: I half-agree. I wasn't trying to illustrate that Twilight is a prime example of generosity, but she's neither unkind, ungenerous or completely aloof, either. For me, at least, the point of the first two episodes was for Twilight to realize that friendship is more important/relevant than she realized, rather than her being some kind of delinquent in need of reformation, or something along those lines. How we see her develop later in the series, is more due to changing her priorities and expressing and cultivating what was already there, rather than introducing her to novel ideas. With the sea serpent, I figured her actions would depend on the circumstances, since she was willing to ask the sea serpent what the matter was in the original version of events. That's why I had her consider taking the teleportation route, but prefaced the scene with thoughts that would lead her to helping the serpent, since I also doubted that she would care about cutting off a significant length of her tail.

I hope all that makes what I chose to do understandable, even if you still don't agree with it.

7238363

Then we are in disagreement.

No doubt. You probably wouldn't have written the story otherwise, so that was kind of my assumption. :derpytongue2:

she inexplicably stops making connections at the Mare in the Moon being Nightmare Moon.

She could have died. She could have left. She could be sick. She could be on vacation. Nightmare Moon could have eaten her. There are an endless amount of possibilities to what else could have happened to the younger sister and nearly all of them are basically equally likely from the actual proof she has. Like I said, it's something that you can conclude just from what is known at that point, but that's why I said it's obvious in hindsight: retrospect makes it seem like the obvious conclusion, but lacking that foreknowledge, she basically latches onto one possibility out of many for no clear reason. She doesn't know what we know. Nothing about all those hints actually excludes any of the other possibilities.

I wasn't trying to illustrate that Twilight is a prime example of generosity, but she's neither unkind, ungenerous or completely aloof, either.

No, I suppose not. My point was more that even in doing the same thing as Rarity, she doesn't demonstrate generosity in the same way as Rarity. It's one of those things about virtues. Where I come from, we say that generosity means giving something away that you can't afford. When Rarity cuts of her tail, she demonstrates generosity on a bone-deep level because she genuinely cares about her image. Losing her tail is a real loss to her, but she parts from it anyway and gives away a piece of herself in the process. When Twilight does it, it's just hair, because she doesn't actually care all that much. She's giving away something she can afford to lose. Do you see the difference? It's subtle, but there's a strong symbolic component to what each of the characters does that's just sort of lost here. She's giving it freely, but she isn't generous.

7238731

No doubt. You probably wouldn't have written the story otherwise, so that was kind of my assumption. :derpytongue2:

Wait, I wrote the story so we could disagree? :pinkiegasp: :pinkiehappy:

She could have died. She could have left. She could be sick. She could be on vacation. Nightmare Moon could have eaten her. There are an endless amount of possibilities to what else could have happened to the younger sister and nearly all of them are basically equally likely from the actual proof she has. Like I said, it's something that you can conclude just from what is known at that point, but that's why I said it's obvious in hindsight: retrospect makes it seem like the obvious conclusion, but lacking that foreknowledge, she basically latches onto one possibility out of many for no clear reason. She doesn't know what we know. Nothing about all those hints actually excludes any of the other possibilities.

Except it's based on what Twilight knows, not what we know. Almost all of the required information is in those two books, which she read. Also, the possibilities aren't all equal, because there actually is a living, breathing princess who raises the sun and moon (as mentioned in the first book). In addition to that (and this is the portion that's implied to us, as far as what Twilight could or should know at the beginning of the series), there are plenty of things that suggest that it would be stranger if Twilight had no earthly idea about Celestia's history or the length of her rule/her responsibility for the sun and moon (considering how long she's been performing the same duty and role). Given all that (including the other details that I mentioned from the two books before), and how far Twilight connected the dots in canon, any further connection-making is far from being far-fetched or tenuous. There's not much more that could have been done for the final connection to be any more obvious, especially since she got as far as she had before I did anything, which was basically just finishing what had been started.

No, I suppose not. My point was more that even in doing the same thing as Rarity, she doesn't demonstrate generosity in the same way as Rarity. It's one of those things about virtues. Where I come from, we say that generosity means giving something away that you can't afford. When Rarity cuts of her tail, she demonstrates generosity on a bone-deep level because she genuinely cares about her image. Losing her tail is a real loss to her, but she parts from it anyway and gives away a piece of herself in the process. When Twilight does it, it's just hair, because she doesn't actually care all that much. She's giving away something she can afford to lose. Do you see the difference? It's subtle, but there's a strong symbolic component to what each of the characters does that's just sort of lost here. She's giving it freely, but she isn't generous.

I got your point, and I agree with it as far it concerns the context of the event we're discussing. Otherwise, it's semantics when we really get down to it, because not everyone sees generosity as a meaningful loss: many think that it simply falls under an act of kindness, that a sacrifice isn't necessary to distinguish between being kind and being generous; it's simply giving more than what was necessary, whether it has a negative impact on the giver or not. It's pretty much synonymous with kindness. (That's why I would have preferred that they had stuck with Rarity's element being inspiration.)

As far as the Elements of Harmony are concerned? I figure the spark is enough. I mean, did it really matter that any of the five who became element bearers had to prove themselves with one act of their respective quality to qualify? They only behaved in the manner that they had because that's the kind of person they each are, and the circumstances allowed them to express that side of themselves. When Twilight switches her priorities after the incident with Nightmare Moon, to learn about friendship, we see that she already had all of those qualities, rather than having to learn how to be those things and incorporating them into her personality. She's plenty kind, honest, generous, loyal and pleasing; she just lacked the lifestyle and experience to utilize those qualities often enough and well. It shouldn't be surprising that she has a good heart and character, considering the ponies she's been close to while growing up.

7239234

Wait, I wrote the story so we could disagree? :pinkiegasp: :pinkiehappy:

Naturally. All stories here are actually just written for my personal benefit. Didn't you know?

Except it's based on what Twilight knows, not what we know. Almost all of the required information is in those two books, which she read. Also, the possibilities aren't all equal, because there actually is a living, breathing princess who raises the sun and moon (as mentioned in the first book).

Well, I'll just have to disagree there, then. The fact that Celestia exists doesn't really say anything about Luna in and of itself, and even if it isn't much of a surprise, it's still somewhat ambiguous.The reveal did come as a surprise to at least some people, or at least as a confirmation of a vague and indistinct hunch. It isn't actually something that forces itself on you, the way a solid conclusion does.

I guess the problem I have with it is that while she could have guessed it, she is acting a lot more confident than she really has any right to be. A bit of doubt and second-guessing wouldn't have gone amiss, in my opinion. It's humanizing, which is something the story lacks a bit right now.

As far as the Elements of Harmony are concerned? I figure the spark is enough.

I don't, honestly. I think this kind of thing is what makes it meaningful. Without real significance to it, it's not a virtue, it's just a word - and one of the big premises and central messages is that all the elements are equally important. You have either all of them or none of them. Nothing is secondary.

7240466

Naturally. All stories here are actually just written for my personal benefit. Didn't you know?

Mind. Blown. :pinkiecrazy:

Well, I'll just have to disagree there, then. The fact that Celestia exists doesn't really say anything about Luna in and of itself, and even if it isn't much of a surprise, it's still somewhat ambiguous.The reveal did come as a surprise to at least some people, or at least as a confirmation of a vague and indistinct hunch. It isn't actually something that forces itself on you, the way a solid conclusion does.

I guess the problem I have with it is that while she could have guessed it, she is acting a lot more confident than she really has any right to be. A bit of doubt and second-guessing wouldn't have gone amiss, in my opinion. It's humanizing, which is something the story lacks a bit right now.

No, no, no. It has nothing to do with Luna, because Twilight already covered that in the canon. She connects the Mare in the Moon mentioned in the second book to the Nightmare Moon mentioned in the first book, who is the sister to the princess who has been raising the sun and moon (as mentioned in the first book). That means that the only remaining question is whether Twilight would know enough about Celestia (whether through her personally and/or historical accounts), someone who has been around longer than a thousand years and is probably well-documented, to figure out that Celestia has been the princess raising the sun and moon for the last thousand years, and thus the older sister of the younger, who had become Nightmare Moon. Are you honestly saying that it's less likely for Twilight to not know enough to even wonder who the older sister was, or that the writers of the show are infallible on the matter?

As for the second part of what you said: actually, that shouldn't be odd or a problem. If you look closely, you'll notice that Twilight confidently and readily assumed that the thousandth year was the current year, without knowing when Nightmare Moon was banished to the moon or checking the stars. And you forget that Twilight is usually pretty confident when it comes to certain things: what do you think a part of Feeling Pinkie Keen was all about? She wanted to feel confident in what she knew, and wanted to find some way to understand the PInkie Sense, or prove it to be bunk, so she could fit it into her world view, rather than doubt herself and wonder if she could be wrong. She maintained that mindset until she exhausted herself.

This relates back to that Mary Sue comment, too. Twilight is plenty confident, brave and capable. Even in the beginning, she shows no doubts or fears about taking care of Nightmare Moon herself, which she had intended to do before she picked up five tag-alongs. Even when she ended up being alone with Nightmare Moon, she confronted her without flinching. If I'm going to be considered doing wrong for trying to portray her character as accurately as I can manage (I highly doubt I'll ever get anything perfectly right), then I'll gladly accept being guilty as charged.

I don't, honestly. I think this kind of thing is what makes it meaningful. Without real significance to it, it's not a virtue, it's just a word - and one of the big premises and central messages is that all the elements are equally important. You have either all of them or none of them. Nothing is secondary.

Well, if you're saying that, then you missed the gist of what I had said. Again, though, I will say that I agree that the way it was done in canon was preferable -- for the audience, and as a part of said audience. The way I approach things are typically rooted in-universe, though, so what I do usually isn't for the sake of how it impacts the reader; at least, not in the way that the source material would do it. Here, all I did was have Twilight go alone, as she had wanted to do in canon, and I hoped that others would see that the qualities required are not only ultimately innate, rather than strictly expressed, but that Twilight already has these qualities to an adequate degree, and is thus able to succeed despite being alone.

No, Twilight isn't perfect, but who is? Heck, even up to the sixth season, despite being an alicorn princess of friendship, she's still able to make basic friendship mistakes. (I wouldn't be surprised if she even failed to follow one of her friendship lessons in No Second Prances. She certainly went as far as being a hypocrite, if I remember correctly.)

Anyway, since we haven't really been able to resolve much between us, we should probably put this to rest. (You're welcome to respond to this, of course.) As much as I like to yap about perceptions, perspectives and canon material, I'm seriously behind on the next chapter that I should be writing. I gave myself a week off so I could try and improve how much sleep I was getting, so my mind would be in a better condition when I got back to writing, but this and a couple of other things have either distracted me or put me into the wrong mindset for writing. In three days, I've only been able to write two paragraphs ^^;

7241088
Very well, if you feel that way about it, there's really no point in continuing this. It's all really getting a bit too wordy for me to follow at this time of night, anyway. No biggie.

Here, all I did was have Twilight go alone, as she had wanted to do in canon, and I hoped that others would see that the qualities required are not only ultimately innate, rather than strictly expressed, but that Twilight already has these qualities to an adequate degree, and is thus able to succeed despite being alone.

I want to address this bit at least, though: this is exactly the problem. She doesn't. She acts out the part of the other elements, but she doesn't do it for the right reason. Everybody has all of the elements qualities to some degree, but she's an exemplar of none of the rest of them. If she was, she would have been a different element to begin with, rather than magic. It doesn't grow naturally from her character. We've been using Rarity here as an example so far, but the manticore is another one. Fluttershy realizes the manticore is injured when she pays close attention to him because she actually cares about everyone's well-being and wants to find a solution where nobody is harmed. Twilight just notices it. It's not just the act that matters. Intent and sentiment are what make it actually symbolically powerful and meaningful, and she doesn't have that.

It it isn't supposed to look that way, it really doesn't become apparent in the story at all. In that case, frankly, she isn't really Twilight as we see her in the show to begin with, though. She's just an entirely new character who unites all these qualities and has been given her name.

7241150 We'll just have to agree to disagree, then. In part because I don't exactly know how far you're taking "exemplary" to mean, since the element bearers aren't perfect in their respective ways, and because there's nothing that explicitly dictates the exact quality/quantity required of those traits. To me, Twilight doesn't change drastically throughout the series, which leads me to believe that most of what we see from her has been within her since the start of the series, and what I've seen of that is enough -- for me -- as far as those traits are concerned. (I see her as a diamond in the rough, and over time the rough edges are smoothed over.) In the end, I think we just set our bars at different heights.

Also, I just wanted to point out that Fluttershy didn't know about the injury. That's not to counter your point of view on the matter, since it would have actually been a better match had you used it: I just like to show that I study this stuff. Harder to do, obviously, is showing my preference to not treat the canon material irreverently, despite how things might seem to someone else.

With that said, I disagree with your assessment that the Twilight depicted in this story is an entirely new character who only bears her name, especially if you're basing that off of a retroactive application of your own expectations for the kind of pony who can use all of the elements. I'd hope not, since it would obviously be misguided, what with Twilight not exemplifying any of the elements (aside from loyalty, perhaps) during her journey through the Everfree (and thus not meeting your expectations), which -- by the sound of things -- I figured you'd find more like the actual Twilight than not. It's a rather extreme opinion, or a very irresponsible usage of hyperbole, so I hope you can point out all of the instances where Twilight behaved in such an uncharacteristic manner that there's nothing at all of Twilight to see in her, if you're going to stand by what you said. Being marginally OOC is something I'm fine with, since I don't expect myself to portray characters perfectly in my attempts to be as accurate as I can, but going so far as to say that the portrayal is zero percent accurate (or thereabouts) isn't something to be taken lying down.

Anyway, yeah, it looks like I'll just have to try and pace how often I respond, at least so long as you continue your end of the conversation. (I may even take days to respond.) I blame you for saying something that couldn't be ignored by a writer who still draws breath. You fiend! :raritydespair:

7242103

n part because I don't exactly know how far you're taking "exemplary" to mean, since the element bearers aren't perfect in their respective ways

"Exemplar," not exemplary. It's a word of its own. In rough terms, it really just means someone who is outstanding about a certain thing and has it as one of their strongest qualities. I think we can reasonably say they each are at least that. Applejack, if nothing else, is an exemplar of honesty, enough so that it bites her in the ass at times. The way Discord messed with them and turned around their personalities kind of proves that, I think. They're that strongly defined by their elements.

I read a very interesting story here called "Harmony Theory" that actually explores this quite in detail, if you'd be interested. The opposite of exemplary honesty is deceit. The opposite of exemplary generosity is greed. But the opposite of exemplary magic is... still magic, and the Twilight Sparkle of that story is rather terrified by the implications of what that could mean for her. It's long, but I really, really recommend it. It's that good.

7243853 No, you're right that those are their strongest traits, so I won't argue that. (Not that Discord is required to prove that in any capacity.) But, consider this for a moment: Celestia had once wielded all of the elements of harmony herself, which -- by your point of view -- would imply that she was an exemplar of all five traits at that time. All things considered, do you think that's beyond the realm of possibility, to the extent that it's an unquestionable fact? Personally, I wouldn't expect one, two or even three (generosity, honesty and laughter) of the five traits to be as strong in her as you would require them to be.

Harmony Theory? I'll give it a look-see when I've put some writing of my own story behind me, since I really need to make up for lost time. (Lemme bookmark it now so I don't forget... Oh, I remember seeing this one before.) Although I figured we already saw what Discord's affect on Twilight had been, which was severing important connections. Friendship is magic, after all, so it makes sense that she would feel like leaving her friends, which she had been in the process of doing before she read those letters.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!