• Published 18th Jan 2013
  • 3,718 Views, 146 Comments

Dysphoria, Arc 1: Introductions - thedarkprep

Applejack finds a pony at death's door during one of the worst storms of the year. He is bleeding, his wings are broken, and he's unconscious. This new pony has secrets he wants to hide, but as the saying goes, all things must come to light

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11. Epilogue?

11. Epilogue?

Well, that was Dysphoria. I hope you enjoyed it. I know all my chapters are short compared to what a lot of people write, but I hope that the narrative was good enough to make up for it. At most I hope you enjoyed it; at worst, I hope it did no harm.

Now, if you’re wondering what happens next to Evening Rose, I’m sure you’re hoping for an Epilogue, in which case I have good news, because an Epilogue does exist. The bad news is that the Epilogue is less an epilogue and more another story. You see, I actually wrote out the story of Dysphoria as three connecting story arcs for which I’ve written outlines. What you’ve just finished reading I’ve got labeled as “Dysphoria, Arc 1: Introductions”, meaning you have two more arcs to get through. As such, I hope you can tolerate me for a bit longer.

The first chapter of Dysphoria, Arc 2: Ponyville is actually already posted so you should go check it out. This Arc will also have a consistent release schedule, as I will be uploading a chapter every Monday and Friday at around 5pm EST.

Dysphoria, Arc 3: Canterlot will be posted once the story gets to that point (if you can click the link on the name of the story, then it is online). If you’re wondering why Evening Rose would go back to Canterlot, you’ll have to read story arc 2 and then 3 to find out.

Now, there are a few changes between each arc that I’d like to mention in order to not surprise readers.

Despite only being listed as “Slice of Life,” I consider Arc 1 to be under the categories of: Sad (because of Rose’s past), Mystery (because of the constant foreshadowing and trying to figure out Script’s secret), and Slice of Life (because some of the stuff is just commonplace like working, making new friends, etc.).

Arc 2 I would say is more completely Slice of Life. The mystery is gone because now all the cards are on the table for readers, so the story deals more with the moving on past the revelation part of the story. There are still “Sad” chapters in the story, but as with Arc 1, they are not the main things going on.

Arc 3, on the other hand, I would classify as Adventure and Sad. I won’t explain why; I’ll just simply say that the three arcs are connected and this is where the main conflict of the three arcs comes to a head. I promise it'll make sense

Aside from that, I will be taking a book out of the Winningverse’s library, and will be writing one-shots to expand on the story. Things that I know for a fact I will be writing will include Rose’s coming out letter, a short on her first night out, a short from Perfect Rhyme’s perspective, and a short on Slant’s suicide attempt (I hope people got that he attempted suicide; I didn’t want to be too blunt about it, but I kind of was). More one-shots will be added as I come up with them and write them, but my priority is finishing the arcs.

So, I hope you enjoyed Arc 1 and I hope you put up with the rest of the stuff I will be posting. Again, my normal releasing schedule is every Friday and Monday (at around 5pm EST). Please favorite, follow, watch, stalk, or do whatever you need to do to keep up with the story. If you think it's worth sharing, please do so at your heart's content. Also feedback is always appreciated. I might not always act on others’ advice, but I’m always willing to receive it and take it into consideration.

Thank you for reading.


P.S. If you want to talk about any trans-related things (if you have questions, concerns, or want any information), feel free to send me a private message. I would love to talk to you and inform in any way I can.

Author's Note:

Yes, I know an author's note on this is redundant but I wanted to highlight this.

These are the 3 things I can promise about Arc 2:

1. Longer Chapters (Shortest Chapter is 2,769 words)
2. More Direct Chapters (There aren't any reprieve chapters, the whole story just goes)
3. Better writing (I'm really really proud of Arc 2)

Please check it out?

Comments ( 71 )

Very impressed by this story. It handled some complex themes reasonably well without sacrificing an interesting story for it. I'm really suprised not to have seen this before now. The only real criticism I have is that the title sort of gave the suprise away. Still, it's a very well written story and I look forward to the continuation.


Well, I'm glad that you did find it and that you liked it :twilightsmile:

Also, yea.. it didn't occur to me that the title would give away that there would be future arcs until two days ago. Still, if that's the only complaint I will definitely take it as a compliment :pinkiehappy:

I hope you enjoy Dysphoria, Arc 2: Ponyville

I had originally written a really erudite and sophisticated comment about how this story both blew me away with awesome story telling and opened my mind to the struggles of transgendered people. My phone then promptly threw up on me and lost the original comment and I can't be bothered to write it out again so I'll summarise: awesome story, great writing techniques, eye opening perspectives and realistic characterisation. Thank you so much for writing this, I eagerly await the chapters to come in future arcs


Thank you for reading my story and for your comments.
I can honestly say that each of your comments on my story has made my day :twilightsmile:

I hope you continue to enjoy the story as it progresses in Dysphoria, Arc 2: Ponyville and beyond.


I know I just talked to you on Facebook, but I'll go ahead and respond here as well.

I'm glad you enjoyed Arc 1 as much as you did and that you're enjoying Arc 2 as it progresses. Rarity was a lot of fun to write, and I'm glad you're picking out the subtleties in the text :twilightsmile:

It means a lot :pinkiehappy:

Y u no have moar views?


Thank you for the comment! :pinkiehappy:

I'm glad you enjoyed Arc 1 enough that it had an emotional reaction, liquid or otherwise.:twilightsmile:

I hope you continue to enjoy it in Arc 2 and beyond.


I don't know why I don't have more views...

I think it might be because people in general don't like OC stories, or because I don't have a good cover picture (couldn't find someone to draw one so I had to do it myself, and I'm not much of an artist).

Who knows, maybe 5pm EST on Mondays and Fridays is the absolute worst time to post stories.

In any case, I'm happy to have gotten as many views as I have and for the wonderful comments of those who have read my story, so I can't really complain :twilightsmile:


I did also notice that my dialogue was off. I feel like I got the voices fine but the context was not. I did try to improve it over the next two Arcs (I'm making that my focus for Arc 3), so I'll be interested in seeing what you think of the progress, assuming you continue to enjoy the story enough to read it. :unsuresweetie:

In any case, it doesn't sound like the dialogue was enough to kill the story for you, and I'm glad for that you found no other problems with it :twilightsmile:


I saw it all coming really early. Now, to be fair, I was kind of clued in with knowing that this was a trans story. I knew right away why she was injured, what she was hiding, and who Rose was. Still worth reading because how it happened was worthwhile.

As for the juggling of different identities. Oh, do I know that one. There are three different names (and two variations on one) that I go by in my town with only people who know me by one name and one variation of the other being in the loop as to who I am with people who know the third name and the second variation of the second one being completely out of the loop. Its a mess and requires care in making sure that people who know me in different contexts don't mingle with each other. Thankfully, I am at the stage where I am now updating everyone to my new name and who I am. Rose's mixing of truth with lies is definitely something I can relate to having had to do it extensively myself for gender reasons, though I usually do a better job than Rose by using only the truth with careful wording to not spill the beans or lie.


For me it was a similar situation. People at college knew me as one name and people at home knew me as another. At first I could keep those two circles apart, but then specific people started crossing barriers (friends from home going to my college, college friends having other friends from my hometown). It is nerve wracking to wake up and find that your circles have consolidated. Still, very few people know about me in my hometown, those in college have mostly forgotten about me, and soon I'll be moving so a new faraway circle will emerge.

Strange how easy it is to juggle multiple lives like that all things consider though, huh?


It can be pretty easy depending on parameters. In a big city or big campus, it is pretty easy. In a small one, not so much. Unfortunately for me, despite being in a big area, circumstances are forcing me to come out to a lot of people in an old circle. I would do it anyways, but I don't like being forced.



:facehoof: Stahp responding so fast, you make me nervous.


But... I like responding. It makes me smile when I read people commenting and then I want to answer because I'm feeling happy and I like talking to people.

Just know that I appreciate you taking the time to read my story ok?

*hug* :heart:


Shush, you made me lose my spot on Arc 2 :duck:

This story has been reviewed by: The Equestrian Critics Society

Story Title: Dysphoria, Arc 1: Introduction

Author: thedarkprep

Reviewed by: Shahrazad

Dysphoria (noun): An emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease. The title perfectly describes the main character. Readers should be forewarned, Dysphoria, Arc 1: Introductions, is “heavy.” It shouldn’t be read while watching television in the background. It still manages to be entertaining and hopeful despite some pretty sad stuff. It deals with a weighty subject, but treats that subject with dignity. If you are in the mood to laugh, this would be a poor choice. If you are in the mood to think, to ponder, and to feel, open Dysphoria, Arc 1: Introductions, and start reading.

Full Review

Score: 8.0/10

Woop woop, done reading the first arc.
Hopefully Froey will stop looking at me with murderous eyes.

I'll start with what I didn't like and then say what I did like in an effort to end on a happy note :moustache:

It felt like there was too much "tell" instead of "show" and I wish there could have been more scenes were we (the readers) could have been immersed in the world instead of just being told what happened.

I also wish there would have been more detailed interaction between Rose and the mane6, we were told that she was "fun" but we never got to see any of the fun if you know what I mean?

Anyways, even tough the "twist" was spoiled big time by CERTAIN PEOPLE, I can see why pretty much everyone in the LGBT group who has read it recommends it so warmly.

It's a sad story but it shows that even tough the people (ponies) that you tought you could depend on turns out to be dicks, there's no reason to assume that everyone else will act the same, even if ones past experience does merit caution.

Gonna start reading Arc 2 either tonight or tomorrow morning, a arc that thankfully hasn't been spoiled for me yet :pinkiehappy:

I like this story.

However, in part 8, I felt the way Rose explained things was bookish, overly clinical (in direct confrontation with the way she wanted to tell her parents about it, which was to truly convey the fear and anxiety and other related feelings), and overall out-of-character. I think this is very much related to another poster's feeling that too much was told instead of shown.

It's a good story, it's just that this one part bugs me. Sorry. :twilightsheepish:

Well just finished reading all 5 arcs, and all I can say is WOW


Thank you ^_^

I think...

That's a good wow right? :rainbowderp:

Whoa I just started reading this, and I must say I really enjoy it :twilightsmile: I'm really glad about the trans theme, though for me its the opposite way around (FtM) its very insightful and awesomeness :pinkiehappy:

Thank you :scootangel:


I'm glad you enjoyed it thus far. I hope you find the rest of the Arcs just as enjoyable.

Also, spoilers, there's an FtM transcolt in Arc 4 :twilightsmile:

Happy Reading,

yay! *excited dance* :twilightsmile: whelp I really like it so far :rainbowkiss:


Well, I'm glad you commented and I'm sorry you've had such a hard time.

If you ever want to talk feel free to send me a PM.

I'm also glad you enjoyed the story and I hope the rest of it (the other Arcs) is just as enjoyable.

*hug* :heart:

thanks for the concern, but imma just try and deal with it all myself, i wanna be strong for myself and everyone else that is like me :3

Hate ta break it to ya, but the best way to be strong is to tell somepony, it shows that you have guts, and that if you get messed, with, you won't directly react, you will allow others to help you out!


I guess my biggest piece of advice is to have something to say. Whether it is a point you want to carry across, or an experience you want to share, or something you want people to walk away with, as long as you have a point in writing, the piece will be special.

For example, don't write a story about Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash dating. Write a story about what it means to be in love, or what a relationship is like, or a story sharing a personal experience about dating, which happens to use Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash.

Once you have something to say it makes it personal and everything you write around it will reflect it. The story will have a purpose which makes it easier to plan out and write.

"What's the point?" becomes, "how do I get them to see it?", "how does this relate to that?", "what should happen to prove my point?".

The readers will also connect to it better because the story will leave them with something they didn't have before, your voice and perspective carried through text.

Once you have that, plan your story and outline it. Then write it and polish it. Also, always read more and emulate the things you like from your favorite authors. All of it comes down to skills which you can copy, polish, and make your own. However, all of that means nothing if you have nothing to say.

Hope it helped and thank you so much for favoriting and commenting on my stories :pinkiehappy:

Listen to thedarkprep. She knows her shit, and everything she writes is gold. She gives really good writing advice. She's the one who convinced me to start writing, and it's her advice that has kept me writing and kept me from writing utter garbage.


If you keep putting me on these pedestals, I'm going to fall off and hurt something.. :ajbemused:

And I'll be standing there waiting with a camera and popcorn.

I wasn't sure on this one. I tend to dodge such controversial topics on my reading, but I have to admit. As a story, it is well written, beautifully characterized and very original. If that isn't worth it, then I dunno what is.


Wear it with pride. :D

Didn't care for this, sorry. The tense inconsistency and exposition dumping in the opening paragraph set my teeth on edge from the start. A lot of the description felt overdone or redundant. I think it got better as the story went on, but maybe I just got used to it. As for the mystery, I realized very early that the title was almost certainly referring to gender dysphoria. After the big reveal, the story left Equestria and all the characters became puppets representing humans... I'm not okay with that. The overdone pathos of the disownment scene especially felt forced, and cemented Rose in my mind as a Mary Sue.

This story belongs in the same category as "My Little Dashie". It fills a niche, but is otherwise very average.

Harmony strikes again! Yay!:heart:

Within this world, live on
No longer a dream.
Find your bliss soon;
from sorrow, rise once more.

Excellent work, dear Author!:pinkiehappy:
Another story begins.:twilightsmile:

This story hit me so hard, being Transgender myself (mtf) I was captivated by the story, I was happy to know that I could relate to some of Rose's struggles. Very well written, thank you for sharing this story with us.

II have to say that I did see the twist with Script being Rose. Nonetheless I loved every part of what I've read so far (I've read 4 of the 5 arcs)

This story definitely deserves more views. I've put it on my profile page. You're story needs more coverage and even if it helps get one more view. I'd be happy.


It is not required to write with an accent, just like the spelling isn't altered in Harry potter books to denote an English accent. English is English

Being trans I can relate with this story. This convays a lot of the emotions I feel on a regular basis. I am still early in my transistion and every time I interact with other people I feel very conflicted. The transition is not easy and would not wish it on anyone. Thanks for sharing.

I absolutely loved this story! The grammar was spot on, the characterization was perfect, there was just the right amount of character building on the part of Rose, and the story just flowed perfectly. My reviews usually have a list of complaints to go along with them but really the only complaint I have here is that I'm tired and have to sleep so the next chapter has to wait until tomorrow. I'm trans, but I feel I kind of cheated with the whole being unable to accept myself thing, I did a lot of meditations around the time I figured it out and it helped me greatly to the point that I was able to overcome most of the dysphoria early on, well before anyone knew and before I started my transition. What say you Gentle?

Oh, I agree. This story really tugged at my heart strings. I can relate in so many ways. It's great that Rose was able to make some friends who accept her for who she is, I lost my father when I came out but at least I still have my mom, Rose was left with no one, and at such a fragile time in her transition, she really needs her friends around her.

I give this story the coveted 5 pinkies out of 5 rainbows :pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy: / :rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

3806546 he's right. a mary sue is a character that is given unlimited power and is just randomly friends with every character and is in everyway flawless. the whole point of this story is that the character is trying to overcome a perceived flaw. I'm not one to give praise where it isn't 100% deserved, and I have completely abandoned stories that had a good plotline but were poorly delivered, and I gave this story a 5 out of 5. I can understand if the story isn't your cup of tea but insulting the author by calling his well thought-out OC a Mary Sue is entirely uncalled for.

I'm pleased we could make your day. Purpose is fulfilled.:raritystarry:
Our commentary is of varying length. Sadly, any friend couldn't think of more to reminiscence on, so the verse was shorter here. I hope you'll be finding us elsewhere too. Thank you for enjoying the story and its humble commentary :raritywink:


>trying to overcome a perceived flaw

Boom. You said it. "Perceived" The character isn't trying to overcome a real flaw, because the author doesn't think that being transgender is a flaw. The character is only trying to overcome the social problems that come along with that "flaw".

Besides, your definition of Mary Sue is simplistic. Any kind of author can write a Mary Sue, and what those characters look like will vary depending on the author's personal taste. I've written about this before. Allow me to quote myself.

After some thought, I settled upon a definition of a Mary Sue as a character who becomes more important than the narrative itself.

Now, this needs some explanation. But it's pretty intuitive if you look at it in basic storytelling terms. The narrative, that is, the process by which the conflict is built up and ultimately resolved, is the heart of any story, so much so that one might even safely say that resolving the conflict is the goal of a story, both in the sense of termination (for that is where the story ends) and in the sense of perfection (the resolution is the ultimate aesthetic purpose and highest point of the story). In other words, the purpose of a story is to convey the narrative.

Now it should be obvious that anything which is not following its purpose is doing something wrong. So if there are any stories which are written, not principally in order to convey the narrative, but toward some other purpose, then they are failing on some level as stories. They might be very good at being other things (pornogaphy, political tracts, etc.) but as stories they are fundamentally flawed.

Now as I see it, a story that contains a Mary Sue is a story that is making precisely this kind of error in purpose, and in particular, it makes the error of elevating the importance of a central character above the importance of the narrative. It makes the aggrandizement of a character, rather than conveying the narrative, the purpose of its storytelling. This remains a grievous error, even though it is undeniably the case that most of the time, in a well-told story, the central character's fortunes go hand in hand with the progression of the narrative, and the resolution usually results in the ultimate victory or downfall of that character. For even though this is so, it does not follow that therefore the narrative and the protagonist are interchangeable in such a way that by serving one, you serve both. Of course, this should be obvious, given how easy it is on average to find and recognize examples of Mary Sues in fanfiction.

As for common traits of Mary Sue characters--well, it's impossible to pin down absolutes here, but there are some common tropes among Sues, all of which stem from the misdirected purpose of the story, and the motives which bring this error into beng in the first place. What motive could be stronger, in compelling someone to write a Mary Sue, than a veiled desire for self-aggrandizement? If this is granted, then what trait should we expect Mary Sues to have more often than the trait of being vehicles of an author's self-insertion? I say, then, that Mary Sues are often self inserts. Following directly from this, a Mary Sue will often have qualities that its author either possesses or admires. These author-ish qualities, which necessarily vary depending on the type of person the author is, nevertheless account for most of the stereotypical Mary Sue indicators. I assume the reason why Mary Sues are typically thought of as having red nails, black hair, superpowers, unreasonable mating prowess, weirdly specific tastes in music, and so on, is that the type of authors most likely to write Mary Sues--young, inexperienced authors, usually teenagers or even preteens--are simply interested in those sorts of things more than others, as a group. Nevertheless, there are many other ways to be a Mary Sue. I've read several Christian fanfics featuring obvious Sues as the main characters, no superpowers to speak of, nor any edgy colors, nor even (usually) any extreme personal virtue... but Sues nonetheless. One final point: aggrandizement can be achieved not only by building up a character to seem big and tough, but also by beating him down to attract pity. Likewise, Sues are often subject to extreme and irrational persecution. Of course, there are many other ways to achieve the effect of aggrandizement; I've only named a few here, and attempted to sketch a framework in which to understand such attempts in general.

Cormac McCloppy's habitual snide dismissals aside, I do occasionally know what I'm talking about. You can argue with my specific way of defining a Mary Sue, but you can't argue with the fact that Rose fits my definition.

5228385 while my definition may be simplistic, your definition encompasses all except the greatest authors, and I would consider it to be too broad of a definition. You're right that I can't argue that Rose fits your definition, and we will likely never agree on this. Our definitions will never coincide and as such it's best we end the discussion here. I respect your opinion even if I vehemently disagree.

5260920 yea, when I posted that comment I had only read the first chapter. I like to comment as I go when a story is really good, and then at the end I give it a rating and a review

Okay, yeah, I totally missed the suicide attempt. I don't think it was the cliff because she was trying to escape, not kill herself, so I assume it was the broken mirror. At the time I figured it was just because she hated what she saw in the mirror, so she broke it. I suppose personal experiences probably played a part in that mistake...

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