Update, again. · 5:24pm
Well, time for your monthly dose of Zoltan is an Idiot!
Okay, progress on Embers is going swimmingly, so there's that. I am halfway through uploading DOT onto GDocs, and I'm actually being motivated.
Which brings me to
Zoltalks Ep.2: Part 1: Motivation
When I first started this, I was ecstatic to write in such a great fandom. I had so many ideas, so many things to work with, so many things... that kind of fell through. I can't begin to tell you how many plot bunnies I had that just simply petered out because I just couldn't make them work! Maybe I just thought they sucked, or maybe I just didn't have the drive, or even that I was too stressed out to do anything about it.
I'm not like Alchemystudent who can just simply shrug off bad events like it's nothing, if something bad happens in my life, I feel unable to do anything, even schoolwork. A lot of times, especially in high school, I would have this idea, then never implement it because... I just couldn't get the drive up.
So, what eventually kickstarted my drive this past year? Good things finally happened, and I'm feeling free from what kept me from doing anything. I feel free to do what I want without people screaming, yelling, and fighting for no reason! I feel like I can move on without frustrations!
Sorry, I kind of got side-tracked, but it did have a point: Things in your life do have an impact on motivation. Depression, stress, and other factors can totally remove you from doing what you love, which is sad because I had so many ideas I wanted to implement, that unfortunately never got off the ground.
Though, to be frank, I don't think they were all that good anyway.
Another factor is, well, do these ideas have any place in the world I'm writing in?
Part 2: What I Look for in a Fic
I'm going to begin this with a revelation: MLP: Friendship is Magic... is a kid's show.
I know, shocking isn't it?
Why do I bring this up? Because I got to thinking: When is a fic appropriate for a show I like? Can a fic be too dark or too light? How far can a fic go before I throw up my arms and say,"You lost me!"?
I ask these questions because I need believability in my stories. I ask this because I don't want to suddenly read a fic where Equestria's a candy land, or a dark, foreboding world kept hidden by Discord or anything weird like that. I need something I think can work well within the show's canon, which means that dark fics, at least in FiM fiction, can be very hard for me to get into unless it is really good, or there is a specific reason for the darkness.
Heck, even the dark fics I like tend to have very large issues. Immortal Game for example, has some Narmy moments, bland villains, and excludes every race on the known world.
Though Fallout: Equestria at least has the excuse of being crossed over with a dark franchise(Though at least it knows when to have fun.)
I talk about this because dark fics... really don't have a place in FiM. How can I expect to believe a world where the main character can redeem half the villains she meets, would suddenly have dark undertones like corruption and other BS? Plus... dudes, you're writing about multi-colored ponies, lighten the hell up!
I mean, I came here to read good fics, yes, but I don't want an introspection on racism and allegory, I can go to Star Trek for that!
Okay , that sounds a little harsh, and it does make it sound like I hate all dark fics, at least pony based ones. This isn't necessarily true(I would look like a hypocrite if it were!). I just don't like it when fic goes too far into the wrong direction. What I'm saying is, that darkness is a tool that needs to be used wisely, but also remember what you are writing! Have a little bit of lightness to offset the darkness. It's something I'd do all the time in DOT by having Samus react and realize the world she lives in is kind of silly.
Basically, there are times I feel alienated by stories that make things too dark and depressing, and it kind of feels wrong at least in FiM. It's this reason I'm not a big fan of the Lunaverse, or even anything done by DarthLink 22. The Lunaverse takes things too far by smushing in too much politics and 'Look how different we are!' instead of focusing on the characters and their relationships to each other like they should be doing(Though this complaint is based on the first half of Season 1, with the exception of Hero of Oaton which I actually really loved for not being a standard fic, so I don't know if this improves in any way.) DarthLink's stories are also kind of crazy in their darkness and make me shake my head in disbelief.
Now, some fics do have dark themes, but do it well enough it doesn't detract from the quality at all. The Moonstone Cup for instance has some bits of darkness but it also adds in bits of action and comedy, and it doesn't feel wholly unbelievable(I'll get into that in a bit.)
Then there's the other side of the spectrum, making things too light that kinda forgets actual, real dark parts of the show. This has less to do with the darkness of the fic, but the assumptions the fic makes about the world, if that makes any sense. What I'm saying, basically, certain bronies(Conversion Bureau) tend to believe that the world of Equestria has no bad things in it, despite Nightmare Moon, Flim and Flam, Trixie, Gilda, etc. This also pisses me off because it completely defiles canon, and lacks any sort of believability whatsoever! Yes, I think Equestria's a little nicer(Though I wouldn't want to live in it. Sorry, I don't feel like getting eaten by a dragon anytime soon.) but it's not a sugar bowl like certain people would have you believe.
This leads us to...
Part 3: Believability
I'm a very technical person. I need things to make sense, otherwise, I begin complaining.
You don't want to hear me complain.
I like logic, I like things to make sense in a fic. If they don't, then I raise my fist in anger. How much things need to make sense depends on the fic itself. If it's a short one-shot fluffy fic starring Yang and Ruby getting a bedtime story from Summer, then I don't mind. If it's a two-chapter snore fest where Twilight and Spike talk about each other's feelings that goes nowhere and makes no sense? Then I lose my temper.
This unfortunately separates me from my more popular older brother, Alchemy. You see, he prefers emotion to logic. He's the McCoy to my Spock when it comes to story-writing, basically. He tends to require some suspension of disbelief in his writing sometimes. If you see in my Master Pages, you'd know what I mean.
To give a preview, Samus walks around in her high-tech power suit that makes her(An Earth Pony) look like a Unicorn and no one bats an eyelash, what the hell? I'm changing that when I get to it.
I say this because believability is a large part of what makes a story work for me. If I think a character wouldn't act a certain way, expect me to complain. If I think a person wouldn't do something, expect me to roll my eyes. Of course, this doesn't negate supsension of disbelief for me, if the characters live in a world where fantastic things happen, then I'd let certain things slide for story reasons. What I do let slide differs from story to story.
I got way off topic here, but let me give a little bit of advice on how to motivate yourself: Take a break. I stuck to pony fics for a better part of almost six years, and I'm pretty tired of it. To the point where I'm starting to move to RWBY and a Metroid/Red vs Blue crossover RPs now. So, take a quick break, focus on something else for a while. Maybe you'll find something else that's interesting that will give you a nice change of pace.
Here's another thing, writing about ponies is pretty restricting, so writing in another realm can be refreshing. That's kind of how I felt as I wrote Embers. It helps that, unlike MLP, RWBY actually has an already set up world that isn't going to change and isn't driven by marketing or restricted by time slot and age demographics. In other words, RWBY isn't going to make sh*t up every season.