• Member Since 8th Dec, 2011
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Dafaddah


Stories about families, friends, the past, the present, the future, the science of magic and the magic of science.


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Spike and Twilight share a very unique situation and relationship, but its nature is a subject they've both found very difficult to broach. When they are unexpectedly summoned to the Seapony kingdom, events provide them a reminder of just how how special is the bond between them.

Featuring Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Trixie and Sea-Ponies!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 42 )

I started writing a sea-pony story for the 9th TCB competition, but it took on a life of its own and went in another direction. It's not TCB, but it is about sea-ponies, and more importantly it is about Twilight Sparkle and Spike and the special bond between them. Oh, and yes, this is my first fic with TGP Trixie. I avoided this as long as I could, but this time she would not stay away.

It has Trixie being Trixie, it has Spike being heroic (even without Rarity watching) and there are seaponies without "Sho be doo".
Even wile the story is a bit jumpy, the end is worth it.
Have a :yay: ~yay~

Hmmm, I usually see them portrayed as brother and sister, but that just made this a unique take! Solid story, if a bit rough. Nothing a good pre-reader couldn't clean up. I'm glad I took the time to read this!

959693, 980453 and Chatoyance,

I very much look forward to your feedback on this revised version. Did it fix the problems? Did it add more? Most importantly did it result in a more satifying story to read?

BTW - Big thanks to Chatoyance for some major help just when I was about to give up on this story. She's right - our stories are like our kids. They certainly deserve some TLC.

993976
Thank you for the revision, it is a much smoother read now, yet the essential massage remaines intact. Very nice.
I'm still kind of undecided about the way you play the Twilight-Trixie thing: First Twilight loathed Trixie (Why? The Events in "Boast Buster" did not indicate hate on Twilight's side.), but in the end Twilight softens up to her because Trixie saved her.
Trixie on the other hand is unusually modest about the fact that she can not deal with he orca alone but succumbs to her usual character during the fight. In the end she leaves without so much grandstanding.
That's the exact opposite of how I would have expected the characters to act.
Now, this is probably the most unimportant part of the story but it is the only thing I can still nitpick about, and so I did! :fluttershyouch:
Sue me! :pinkiehappy:

998566

I was unsure how Twilight would react to Trixie when I was first writing this story. But I reviewed the transcript to Boast Busters and it came to me that despite Twilight's best attempts not burst Trixie's balloon and having to face the consequences of Trixie's boasts on her own, Trixie did not apologize nor did she thank Twilight for saving the town (I.e. all the ponies Twi is learning to love at this stage in season 1). Trixie justs makes another boast and then turns her back on Twilight. My assumption is that once the hoopla is over with Twilight would feel hurt, and that as her attachment to Ponyville grew over the next few months so would her indignation at Trixie's callousness.

On Trixie's modesty in admitting she needed help, it wasn't modesty. She was cornered by the sea-pony Princess into either having to admit she hadn't bested the Ursa Major, or live with having to deal with the Orca Major. She chose to hang onto her pride (surprise, surprise) but then who better to help her in her dire circumstance than the very mare who took care of the Ursa Minor in Ponyville. And by the way, the only pony she truly explained herself to was Twilight, in front of whom she had nothing left to lose.

As to how Trixie left without so much as a word to the others, Twilight was surrounded by her Ponyville friends who had not been very well disposed to Trixie. I think she really wanted to speak with Twilight, and that the event presented the possiblity to truly start a friendship with her.What she would have said, we'll never know. Maybe that would be worth pursuing in a future story. :trollestia:

999175
Well, the outcome of "Boast Busters" is one of the more controversial discussions.
Trixie is one of the most interesting characters because of her moral ambiguity.
:trixieshiftleft:
And because she is great and powerful, of course!

999550

And tragic. In a world of friendship she is alone. [fakerussianaccent]Big drama in little pony.[/fakerussianaccent]

Trixie blushed. "I thought he'd look cute as a sea-pony.

Trixie gave Spike consideration and thinks he's cute. This MADE the fanfic for me, in addition to the part where he saved her life. These are two characters I would love to see the fandom ship from time to time.

During the initial encounter with the Orca Major, there should have been more words between the characters. Without dialog to break things up, the scene is just a dry description of events. The loss of several citizens to a predator was disturbingly glazed over. We don't see any of the pain or vengeance the seaponies must be experiencing after losing children to it, and I certainly don't see why Spike and Twilight were so horrified by the idea of killing the Orcas. If there's a creature that poses a threat to a society and has caused deaths, then it needs to be removed by any means. Relocation is obviously the first choice, but if that option isn't available, it's time to break out the guns and put the animal down. Twilight's risk suggested that she values wildlife more than her or Spike's own lives.

And as for that connection between Spike and Twilight, I'll be brutally honest: I hate it when people see a mother/son relationship between them. I think the reason people keep making that mistake is because it's easy for all of us to empathize with Twilight as adults, which makes us see her as older and more mature than she actually is even though she's still a teenager in the show. And since Spike is so clearly a child, albeit a mature one, people get the impression that he's much younger than Twilight than he actually is. Spike is, at most, six or seven years younger than Twi. Heck, he's more mature for his age than Twilight probably is for hers. She doesn't act toward him like a mother, but a friend or big sister who sometimes has to step into the role of a mother. The show is aimed at children who are supposed to relate to Twilight, which means they're obviously meant to see Spike as a little brother figure, not a son. The mane six are not adults, and Spike's inclusion in the cast is, among other things, meant to demonstrate inclusiveness, to show girls that they don't have to pick their friends exclusively from the same demographic. Spike is meant to be on equal footing as the ponies, not a child among grown-ups. Celestia's the authority figure. I certainly hope this interpretation of their relationship dies soon.

Heh, kinda let the fanfic slip away from me there... But since the story arc was mostly about their relationship, my rant is still kinda applicable, right? Anyways, aside from those drawbacks, a very good story. Trixie was entertaining.

1191329

Thanks for the comments. I am currently in a rewrite and will include your input.

As to your comments, I wanted Trixie to come off a much more rounded character than what we got on the show. I also might do a follow up story to better explore the potential rapprochement between Twilight and Trixie, a s well as Spike and Trixie.

As to your comment about not liking the parent/child thing, I agree that the brother/sister relationship is the obvious canon, but things like the ice-cream abuse Spike did in "It's about Time" also show that Twilight does take the parental role with Spike, at least to an extent. I do think as both get older they will realize that and see it as more important.

One other aspect in the new version is the mirror this plays on the relationship between Twilight and Princess Celestia. I have emphasized this in the new closing sequence of the story. If you have a moment please take a look and comment on the new version: Filial V3 on Google docs

I am trying for the 3rd and final time to get the story on EQD. I got some rather nice feedback from the previous pre-readers, but this is my last chance. Any advice would be welcome.

Dafaddah

I just put up version 3 of Filial. Major changes in show don't tell category. Also, a key addition to the closing scene - a letter to Celestia moment for Twilight. I'll leave this up a few days and then resubmit for the 3rd and final time to EQD. ALL comments and suggestions will be most appreciated.

Dafaddah

Take a bow, son. That was boss. :pinkiesmile:

howtobeasalesmanbook.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/objection-handling.jpg

Okay, I like this story. I didn't want to say anything, but it must be addressed.

The Orcas must be punished.

If I understand correctly, these monsters killed around 12 sea-ponies, causing broken homes and families and caused great destruction. And just when he's about to get it, Twilight comes in and saves him.

All that pain and suffering and absolutely nothing was done about it!

Think about it in real-life terms!


"Hmm." said the judge. "Mister Major. I heard that you killed many people in your tirade. A mass murderer if you will.

"Yes, your honor." replied Major. "But I have a family!"

"Seems Legit. No penalty, court adjourned."


How does that make any sense in any way? Letting a murderer get away with murder without ANY consequence.

I'm sorry Twilight, but was your brother eat in front of your very eyes? Did you have to deal with the heartache and sorrow?! NO! Hell, he tried to EAT. SPIKE. And yet after 12 murders and an attempted murder, what happens?

JACKSHIT.

I can't get over how STUPID such an ending is! I mean come on! Animal or not, family or not, that thing killed innocent sea-ponies and therefore MUST. BE. PUNISHED.

Fuck you, Twilight! Fuck you...

Still liked the story though. That hasn't changed.:pinkiehappy:

I just can't get over how idiotic such an ending was. :fluttershysad:

Anyway, now that I'm done ranting, I hope we could talk about this. I mean, I'd love to hear your thoughts and reasoning. :twilightsmile:

-SuperChaosKG

(P.S. Be Edgeworth! )

2108503

There are two ways I can approach this: the basic legal issue involved, and the usage of the Orcas in the plot.

First, from a legal standpoint, the Orcas are dumb animals, not sentient beings. Momma just wants to feed her cub (same as a wolf cub, tiger cub, etc...) This is the circle of life, NOT premeditated hippocampacide (since they were in the shape of sea-horses when all this happened :twilightsmile:) In the MLP universe some animals are sentient and some are not, and one would assume carnivores (like Applejack's dog Winnona) need to get their protein from somewhere. But you don't bring a bear up to a judge for eating the salmon. The orcas were in a similar situation to the dog and the wolf - bright, but not sentient and therefore not legally culpable (or even capable) of a crime.

Second, the plot: the orcas are a device to get Spike to recognize the true nature of his relationship with Twilight. She is his parent in all but name, but he has to realize this emotionally and intellectually. The orca mother's reversals of fortune from predator to prey back to predator is intentional as I wanted to Spike to empathize with the bond between the mother and cub, and then see the emotional parallel it had with the bond between Twilight and Spike. I also wanted to choose a predator intelligent enough to have an emotional relationship with its offspring, so sharks were out of the question! I also wanted a predator intelligent enough to realize that it had been saved by its intended prey, and also recognize that its saviors were a mother and offspring. BUT the predator in question could not be sentient, otherwise she could have just told Spike and Twi they were mother and child, and the whole 'self-dicovery' angle would have been shot.

One last thing, why have Spike and Twilight become sea-ponies? (Other than that was the theme of the writing contest for which I originally wrote this story!) For once Twilight and Spike were the same species, if only temporarily. That is the great chasm that sets them apart. I wanted to eliminate it and thus remove that barrier to Spike and Twilight's perceptions of each-other. Your emotional response to the story tells me that this seems to have worked. But then YOU tell me if it worked. (Please.)

Good story! :yay:
I really don't mind whether it's Twilight and Spike as a brother/sister or son/mother thing. The line between seems awfully blurry in canon, as Twi sometimes does act in a parental role and often they seem equals like siblings, so everyone has their own perspective on what it is. I wouldn't even mind TwiSpike as couple, though it's not my preferred view but if it's written with grace and respect, it could work. I don't care, I just enjoy it. :twilightsmile:

This story has been reviewed byThe Equestrian Critics Society

Story Title: Filial

Author: Dafaddah

Reviewed by: Charelzzz

Filial is a well-written comedy-adventure that is enjoyable, vivid, exciting and safe for all ages. Thought pictures come to mind effortlessly in this 5,000 word story, with a considerable amount of action packed into the short format. It is a good story that is quick and easy on the eyes; it deserves a read.

Score: 7.4/10

Full Review

2661640

Thanks a million for the revue. This type of in-depth analysis means a lot to me as a writer. It's the wellspring of the better author I wish to become!

On to your analysis, it points out a few weaknesses that I should address, starting with its brevity. You're not the first person to comment that giving it more space (especially description of the environment) would likely make the story an easier and more satisfying read. I have been (justifiably) accused of sometimes spending more effort on world building than I should. Perhaps this time I overcompensated as I really wanted to focus on Twilight and Spike's emotional relationship.

Also, the point about Twilight's evident coldness towards the plight of the Sea-Ponies has been mentioned before in comments. That is an aspect I need to fix in the story. Again, I glossed over that aspect to focus more light on Twilight's genuine sensitivity to Spike's feelings, despite her periodic behaviour on the show.

Overall, thank you for this feedback. I will spend a bit time with this story this summer. Perhaps then it will pass on its third - and final - attempt at EQD!

Sincerely,
Dafaddah

2662017 This is already a good story but I think it could be the nucleus of a great story. Good luck with EQD!

My main gripe with this story is the scarce scenario description. It mostly works above the water, but leaves me with almost nothing to imagine the underwater scenario.

I also found Trixie a bit too... tame... with Twilight. And there is a bit too little emotion about the Orca's previous actions, and too little fear and concern from the characters as they are trying to deal with the Orca. For the most part that scene feels more like they are playing a video-game, where they respawn if they die, than a life and death situation.

That being said, and while it could be improved, it's not bad. And I always could use more (non-shipping) Trixie :trixieshiftleft:

3756847

Thanks for the feedback. You raise very valid points. I've been wanting to revisit Filial and will do so as soon as I'm finished with my current ongoing novel-length story Renaissance Pony.

Something that I've learned in the last year is that I need to invest more time and effort to setting the scene. I hope my more recent fics show my improvement in technique in that regards. If so, its mainly thanks to readers leaving comments (like you have) and long suffering editors and pre-readers.

VBR/Daf

3757433
Well, Alone is better in about every aspect, including the scenario descriptions, so yeah, I think you have improved nicely :twilightsheepish:

You're most welcome! :twilightblush:

I support Mama Twilight :twilightsmile:

I hope they eventually touch on this relationship in the show. I believe it would make a very neat episode!

Good story you have here. Clearly pre-magic duel, but that makes sense considering the original publishing date.

The story was well written, few awkward sentences, good grammar. Well done on the technicals I'd say.

The plot was rather straight forward. The Call, rising action, the climax, the return. A solid and satisfying structure. Though I did find the setting a bit fan-service-y, the story could have worked anywhere else just fine, it didn't need to be underwater and didn't really take advantage of that setting. But, seaponies are cool, so its all good.

Characters are where this story shines, of course. I found the revelation of a parent-child relationship to be a refreshing departure from the more standard sibling assumption. Personally I don't think either of these quite capture the reality of their relationship, but i'm not sure there is a word that does. A competent and helpful Spike and a sympathetic and aware Trixie are welcome characterizations.

Like the underwater setting and the seaponies, Trixie's presence also seems to be a bit of fan-service. She gets some welcome character development, but it barely seems relevant to the story. Still, its nice to meet up with and old friend and she certainly doesn't detract from the story in my opinion.

The minor characters really only exists to facilitate the plot, which goes back to my earlier point about the setting being a bit underutilized. It makes it a bit difficult to be invested in their plight. But It also makes Twilight's ethical stand all the stronger, she will do the right thing even with less knowledge than most people would about the situation. At any rate, the story isnt about the minor characters.

Very enjoyable!

4782415

Thanks for the great analysis of this story! As you very clearly identify, the hardest decision for me to make was what aspects and characters I would keep peripheral to the story. It was a potentially rich setting, and, of course, Trixie!

However, I wanted this story to have the feel of an episode of the show, so I couldn't spend too much time on the setting, and had to carefully keep Spike and Twilight in focus to give a visual flow more consistent with that format.

I don't know that I'll use this format again in a story – I tend to draw things out more – but I'm glad I tried it at least once.

Who is Mary-Ann:applejackunsure:

4782958
She's my mom. I wrote the first draft of this story on the first anniversary of her passing. Thanks for asking. :heart:

I found this is a good story, sea-pony Storys is not something I come across often:twilightsmile:. I found it an enjoyable story. But my mind instantly thought of Trixie when 'The Blue Mage' was mentioned because Trixie is a pretty powerful unicorn on some levels and she's ,well, blue. Like I said it is a great story. good job and keep up the good work:raritywink::yay::heart:

4784133 let her rest in peace
I bet she was a wonderful mother:ajsmug:

4784850

She was the best! (A lot like :twistnerd:, but without the lisp.) My dad's great too. I guess I kinda lucked-out on the parent side of life. :twilightsmile:

Very well written story. Could have used more description of the underwater parts, but other than that it was awesome.

I love this story! It's just so sweet!

4785772

Your kind words are most welcome, Igor.

4785930 It's no problem. I really like the way that this story captures the warmth between Spike and Twilight - their relationship seemed really genuine and you believed it when Spike called her mom. I also love the underwater setting and the sea ponies - that was a creative way to bring in things from series past. I also liked that Trixie got a bit of redemption here yet was still very much in character. The underwater setting could have used a bit more fleshing out - more details on the way the seaponies live there and what it looks like could have been a good source of imagery and helped establish the world - but this was an awesome story.

Beautiful.:raritydespair:
Did Trixie is forever alone?:trixieshiftright:

Hi there!
Honestly, I'm not really good at critiquing people's writing - I'm more used to drawing on their bodies. But as requested, I wanted to leave you some feedback.

First and most important, my sincere and heartfelt condolences about your Mom. That's honestly what really touched me the most about this story, and what sucked me in - it was personal. A really lovely story in and of itself - a bit of adventure, plenty of cuteness, and some feels. It's all the ingredients for an enjoyable read.

But what made it so worthwhile was the heart that very obviously went into it. Thank you for sharing. :heart:

This is Midnight Rambler to Dafaddah, transmitting from WRITE's secret headquarters in the frozen north darkest Africa the Ottoman Empire a very secret place.

The vibe I get from this story is that you're going for original flavour: the kind of atmosphere and subject matter that might be found in the show itself, or in the comics. (Okay, it was mostly the seaponies that made me think of the comics at first, but the point remains.)

Original flavour isn't what I usually go for, but it's a perfectly valid choice, and can produce wonderfully entertaining stories when done well. Unfortunately, I don't think this is one of those stories. I'll try and explain why.

The story opens relatively strongly, with a good description of where Twilight is and what that place is like. However, right after that, we get one of its weakest moments: Twilight's reflections on her early years with Spike. Abstract ideas like those should be worked into the story subtly, not dropped on our heads as a single big blob – especially not so early in the story.

The second scene brings more problems. Most importantly, I couldn't figure out where it took place. When you described Twilight and Spike "floating" above "the sand", my initial picture of the situation was that they were still at the beach, only the water had risen and they were now floating around on the surface. Only much later does it become clear that the scene actually takes place in the depths of the sea, away from the shore.

This problem persists throughout the story (though it's a lot less bad than in that scene). Your story takes place in an amazing, exotic underwater world – so draw us in there! Tell us what it's like! Paint us the picture! Immersion (no pun intended) requires that readers can visualise what's going on, and visualisation requires input from you. Especially in an exotic setting like this, you've got loads of opportunities for colourful descriptions. Use them.

The Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue is a scary place, and I don't want to go there. This story comes dangerously close at times, especially in the aforementioned second scene.

My biggest beef with this story, though, is that it feels... dull. There's very little tension, emotion or urgency. In other words, it feels as if the characters don't really care all that much. This passage is a rare exception:

"No, Spike!" screamed Twilight, having almost caught up to the backpedaling Trixie. She looked on in horror as the predator swiftly closed in on Spike and with a lunge swallowed him in a single huge gulp. Twilight felt her limbs go limp. "Spiiiiike!" she heard her own voice scream out. The world slowed down and all she could hear was her own heartbeat. The orca banked through the water, turning back towards her.

It's offset by the rest of the orca fight scene. For most of the scene Twilight seems more excited about the orca than scared or on edge, and even that doesn't shine through very well. Earlier in the story, waking up as a seapony doesn't get much more than a "Huh. That's interesting" out of her, either. It's like she has valium in her bloodstream where there should be adrenaline.

Spike isn't much better:

The dragon scanned the area around them. After their initial confusion at being teleported, the two orcas had put some distance between themselves and the two sea-ponies while the mother orca inspected its calf. Apparently reassured, they started circling the Ponyville pair just beyond reach. Having no other option, Spike swam to keep himself between the orcas and Twilight, in a reversal of their recent roles. He put on his bravest, most threatening face, and prepared his dragon fire for the inevitable attack.

Spike thinks he's about to die here, and he's making a heroic last stand for Twilight, even though he knows it'll be in vain. A moment like that should have a lot more emotional impact than this. The dry, matter-of-fact writing ("put some distance between", "having no other option", etc.) really doesn't cut it here – you'll need to pull out a lot more stops. Show us how terrified Spike is of the giant, hungry jaws approaching him! How his life flashes before his eyes! How all his instincts scream at him to flee, but something deep within him drives him to stay and protect Twilight! How this is it, the final moment!

Speaking of emotional impact, there's the great epiphany Spike has at the end: that he sees Twilight as his mother. If the story's title is anything to go by, this is supposed to be the central theme – and yet it comes almost out of nowhere. A grand realisation like this should be set up carefully in thousands of words of development, not tacked on as an afterthought.

And that's not the only thing that feels tacked on. What's Trixie doing in this story exactly? She's there mostly as a tool – the one who tells the seaponies about Twilight – and doesn't get a lot of attention or development of her own. You could leave her out entirely, have the seaponies approach Twilight on their own (with some vague tale of how they "heard about her great feats") and you wouldn't miss much.

Moving on to purely mechanical aspects, I'd strongly advise you not to use exclamation marks except in dialogue. They look weird and often break atmosphere. Colons are best left out entirely.

Also:

"Wake up, Twi! Come on." Twilight roused from her slumber at Spike's urgent jostling and stretched luxuriously. "Mmm, I love this cool breeze..." she said, slowly opening her eyes and seeing nothing above her but blue. "Hey, where'd the parasol go?" She looked down and squealed in alarm. She was at least five ponylengths above the sand, with nothing supporting her and no reassuring tingle of a levitation field. She extended her limbs, closed her eyes, and waited for the inevitable crunch of impact with the ground. And waited. And waited...

Spike woke up on the beach, back under the shadow of the parasol. "Twi, are you okay?" he asked, still clutching Twilight's foreleg. Her eyes opened slowly. "Spike," she said, her voice barely a whisper, "thank Celestia you're safe." She took a shallow gasp. "The orcas!"

New speaker, new paragraph. It's the one golden rule of dialogue punctuation, and frankly I was surprised to see it broken in a story with otherwise impeccable grammar.

This story has lots of issues, stretching from its basic building blocks to the finer details of the execution. The first thing I'd advise you to work on, though, is conveying emotion and tension through prose. You'll need to get better at that if you want to write engaging stories.

Signing off,

Midnight Rambler, WRITE's Flying Dutchman

4963849

Thanks for the review, although I have to admit I was hyperventilating just a little bit...

You've presented some strong critiques of several aspects of the story, and for that I am grateful. You've specifically pointed out one scene which I also consider very week: the initial arrival of Twilight and Spike in the seapony kingdom. Depicting Twilight's gradual discovery of her circumstances without making it obvious from the reader's perspective may have led more to confusion than a shared sense of surprise.

Having Trixie as a character was a deliberate choice, as I wanted to contrast the concepts of deception of others against that of the self-deception all individuals practice in their life. I thought Twilight's letter to Celestia at the end made that clear.

The comments about the lack of scene description have been made before, and I thought I had beefed this up in the most recent version. Perhaps it wasn't enough! More food of thought, and future edits.

A final note on the emotional impacts: you're right! My original concept for this story that it be just like an episode of the show. But a written story (unlike a video or movie) gives a lot more scope for discovery of the characters' internal life, emotions and thought processes. I need to beef that up in this story.

Thanks for the review!

~Shoo be-do, shoo do, be-do~

5677534

You have no idea how much it cost me personally to restrain myself from 'she-do'ing all over the place when writing this story!

Twilight cringed as she floated in the waters.

"Spike! The Orca-major is coming back!"

"She-doop-ee-doop!" said her number one assistant as he swayed his fins back and forth in imitation of lazy sea currents.

"Spike! I said stop doing that!":facehoof:

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