• Member Since 22nd Dec, 2013
  • offline last seen Oct 2nd, 2018

Zurock


Amateur, hobby writer. Typically don't publish, with a few exceptions.

Latest Stories
4

  • TPride Goeth
    He gave himself in sacrifice to save Canterlot when Princess Celestia couldn't, and then he departed in wounded anger. Afterwards the future forgot him, nearly including those ponies who loved him. What became of him? (Cover art by Blue)
    Zurock · 155k words  ·  18  7 · 746 views
  • TNecessary Love
    A story of connections and emotions. After the human has been in Ponyville for several months, friendships have strengthened. Twilight shares a sudden stroke of fortune with all her friends, inviting them to an experience she hopes they'll all enjoy.
    Zurock · 353k words  ·  103  24 · 1.8k views
  • TMelancholy Days
    A story of faith and depression. The recent human arrival has been struggling to adapt to his new circumstances. Meanwhile, Princess Celestia summons Twilight and her friends to address an old, mysterious, and personal trouble.
    Zurock · 186k words  ·  149  6 · 3.3k views
  • TWhat Separates
    A story of trust and differences. Twilight Sparkle is charged with befriending an otherworldly creature whose sudden appearance is unexpected for the both of them.
    Zurock · 99k words  ·  219  11 · 4.6k views
Sep
11th
2017

Just One More Piece of Art · 3:34am Sep 11th, 2017

Just one more art share: here's a piece I did this weekend to experiment, help push past this slow writing phase, and for the enjoyment of it. It depicts not a scene but a memory from Pride Goeth.

Prideheart Weathers the Mountains

Report Zurock · 100 views · Story: Pride Goeth · #art #images
Comments ( 4 )
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2279401
Hey, thank you so much for reading! And for offering your detailed thoughts! Certainly a lot to mull over!

I found both to be delightfully Slice of Life

Yeah, What Separates it's the sliciest of the stories, owing to its more humble origins. The series has (naturally) been growing as it's gone on, and there's a strong argument to be made that Melancholy Days and Necessary Love would be better tagged as Adventure. I suppose I set them as Slice of Life still as a sort of aspiration that deep down they'd be focused on the wider thoughts and not be about just entertaining. That is, hope springs eternal, etc.

they essentially become argumentative pieces instead of narrative works

In some ways they're sort of meant to be. Sort of.

Originally What Separates was going to be an even more simpler story. It wasn't quite going to be a chat log tale, but it would have just been a short story about Twilight and James (in this incarnation, a student or scholar of some sort) speaking to each other from their respective worlds through some sort of unexplained Skype-like connection. In such a set up it would have literally been an argumentative piece: the entire focus would have been the dialogue between the story's sole two characters with little plot conflict to speak of.

In the end I went to expand it because I am in this business entirely for the sake of pleasing myself, so I often feel there's no reason to hold back for fear of damaging the work via overreaching and introducing flaws. Things expand almost carelessly because I flippantly say, "Why not?" Easily this gets seen in the progression of the series: What Separates is a short novel, Melancholy Days is a long novel, and Necessary Love has become a friggin' ongoing serial two years in-the-making that is still going.

As the role of the reader is to, well, read, they would understandably relay their experiences with the experiences depicted in the writing medium.

I am 100% on board with the Death of the Author thinking. The story will have what it has from me because I'm writing it, but any given reader will see what they see in it cause they're reading it. It's up to each individual to decide how much they want to dig for, perceive, understand, try to interpret, etc., the author's thoughts and feelings.

So it's fine that people have different reactions and engagements with the story; I love it! It's utterly fascinating, I think, that people see Broken Oak as "getting away" with something in Melancholy Days even though to me the fact that he goes "unpunished" is essential to the theme and message of the story. Never, ever would I stop somebody from putting out their contrary thoughts on a story (barring the glaring exception of outright pointless flaming), just as I would hope people would be okay with me coming in and explaining why I made whatever writing choices I did.

"I disliked this about the story" being met with "Oh, well, I did it because I thought and felt this and I meant that" isn't an argument; it's opening up an honest exchange. Nobody needs to change sides; we can just paint our unique pictures on the same canvas. I refuse to be upset that I live in a world populated by people who are not me.

Were the characters mouthpieces for your own, personal opinions, thus rendering them lesser than themselves? Were depictions only depicted as such so as to further the plot? Were characters true to their nature, and not inconsistent?

As is fairly common, most of what goes on in the stories is me expressing my own thoughts and opinions; e.g., the USS Mouthpiece setting sail for the Soapbox Islands. It isn't completely like that; for instance in Necessary Love there's talk of sex and sexuality, and for this dissection I've created a specific view of pony sexuality to throw against James' human sexuality, and I did so not because I have something whole and complete to preach about sex but because I honestly just want to dig and see where it goes.

But yeah, the stories on the whole are a lot of me swimming through my preexisting thoughts. The point of Melancholy Days, for instance, was always to arrive at the idea that it is in the most hopeless moments that hope is most essential.

Yes, I am torn between these stories, but not because of my potentially conflicting perspectives. It's mostly because of the response to them. I like them both; I find them charming, well-written, and well-thought out.

No fear; I am nothing but happy with the stories and their responses. And thank you for the warm compliments!

But a part of me also thinks that more could have been done. Things could be better.

Always. Never stop thinking that; just know that there always comes a point where your time is better spent saying, "It's done," and moving on. Carrying on is a bit easier for me since I have somewhat low aspirations as a writer, but the other side of that particular coin is that improvement is harder and more incidental.

Now, I must move on to the third story, the longest one. If your writing skills are consistent as I think them to be, then I'm sure I'll enjoy it just as much as the previous two installments.

Enjoy! That one is still ongoing, and I try to get at least one chapter out a month. Be a little wary in the middle of the story; some of the writing gets somewhat kludgy and thick. Like I just said above, change and "improvement" with me is sort of incidental and sometimes nearly even unconscious, so there's a phase in that story where details and descriptions get a little excessive and rambly (and of course that's saying something for a naturally verbose person like me). Just what I was feeling or experimenting with at the time I guess. I have been going back and cleaning up the earlier chapters, but I'm not through yet.

Farewell for now

Thank you, Jarvy Jared! I appreciate how much time you took to read and respond! I hope to hear more from you. And if you like what you read, stick around!

- Zurock

(Oh, no, a random Jarvy Jared appeared on your userpage!)

Sudden appearances aside, I just wanted to pop in to let you know that I just finished binge-reading your What Separates and Melancholy Days. And, I have to say...

I'm torn. As in, I'm torn on what to think.

On one hand, I found both to be delightfully Slice of Life, especially the first story. It had just the right amount of character interaction and "low-level" plot to keep me entertained, which, I believe, is an essential part of a good Slice of Life story.

On the other hand, there's the issue of the concept behind the stories. Both being used as lenses was a... risky move, to be sure, because they essentially become argumentative pieces instead of narrative works. Now, that is not to say I found the tone or thematic motifs within the stories to be argumentative in nature, but in my experience, these kinds of writings come off as ways to indulge one in one's opinion.

Of course, that point is refuted by the fact that most stories are written with the author's opinions and ideas being presented by the interactions, plots, and conflicts that the characters confront. Hence why I think that the "other hand" statement can mostly be retracted here.

Yet looking over the comments, especially the ones found in Melancholy Days, makes me oddly wary. I'm not sure if your message was unclear, or misunderstood, but it's clear that several people felt disappointed by the climax and results. For me, personally, I liked it, as it drove home several motifs and ideas without so much as a speed bump on the way. If anything, I felt that those who commented their thoughts and expressed their disappointment were projecting too much of themselves onto the pieces that you have written.

Which, upon further thought, I cannot fault them for. As the role of the reader is to, well, read, they would understandably relay their experiences with the experiences depicted in the writing medium. This, naturally, leads to discordance, but, more importantly, a sharing of opinions and critiques—most of which are useful.

Alternatively, though, it could also be said that such remarks are wholly unnecessary. Is not the point made? Has it not been reiterated and restated numerous times?

Maybe this is because the themes presented aren't so hard to pick out. Some might be blatant or so blatant that readers are left wondering if it even is a theme. Or maybe they look at it and think "This is different and could have been done better." Some ideas could have been more subtle and symbolic; others, less preachy. Still others, expanded upon. I won't go into specifics for the sake of time.

More questions do keep popping up, and accusations, I have seen, soar above them. Were the characters mouthpieces for your own, personal opinions, thus rendering them lesser than themselves? Were depictions only depicted as such so as to further the plot? Were characters true to their nature, and not inconsistent?

If I could give you an easy answer, I would. But I mostly like to leave it to the author to set in stone one perspective. After all, it's their creation; their story. Who am I to belittle it only because option A resulted in clash B which seems highly unlikely given character C and the fact of idea D. But, then again, I would be wrong to say that my way is the only way of thinking.

Back to the initial topic, though. Yes, I am torn between these stories, but not because of my potentially conflicting perspectives. It's mostly because of the response to them. I like them both; I find them charming, well-written, and well-thought out. But a part of me also thinks that more could have been done. Things could be better.

I guess I just don't know what. But I also guess that that's something I'll have to accept. If I knew the answer to everything, would anything be worth knowing at all?

My rambling aside, let me be clear in saying that I enjoyed your stories and what you have written. They've been thoughtful and engaging, and have confronted me with a softer, but also more enlightening, perspective that I had yet to observe. I've dealt and read similar stories that were wonderfully specific and vague all the time (The Catcher In The Rye, to me, fulfills this perfectly), so seeing one on FIMFiction was an absolute treasure of a find. Nevertheless, though I haven't left a comment on those stories, I have added my thumbs up and moved both to my Favorites folder.

Now, I must move on to the third story, the longest one. If your writing skills are consistent as I think them to be, then I'm sure I'll enjoy it just as much as the previous two installments.

Farewell for now, and thanks for giving me a breath of fresh air with your wild, willing, and wonderfully weird works.

Sincerely yours,
-Jarvy Jared

I first saw this story on fanfiction.net and was happy to see it come here. I'm utterly surprised how this great piece of literature isn't one of the most popular stories out right now. regardless, I hope to see more of this story if you choose to continue. :)

Would you mind checking out a short one shot I wrote called "The Line". I would really appreciate it, and constructive criticism is always highly valued! ^-^ Sorry for posting it on your userpage, but my PM's don't seem to be working as of right now. feel free to delete this message after youve read it.

I'd also like to know how you feel about me sending messages/posts like this to many people each day. Would you consider it spam, despite the fact that I only send it to a person once. Furthermore, I leave people who want nothing to do with me alone after the first message, and message back every single person who did reply, and is interested. Would you consider this spam?

(I am currently in a bit of an issue regarding this.)

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