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17866 No. 17866
Alright, I need some help here. I'm writing a fic which will span multiple chapters called "Spirits of Harmony" which is vaguely inspired by (but not a crossover with) Avatar: The Last Airbender, specifically the way Aang can talk to past Avatars if he wants to.

The basic story is that the Mane 6 discover that the Elements contain echoes of past wielders that they, through Twilight's command of magic, can communicate with. This acts as a framing device for three seperate stories with original characters set varying amounts of time in the past.

In terms of "goals" for this fic, I have these set out:

1. Decouple the virtues the Elements represent from specific personality traits, and illustrate - both to the audience and the Mane 6 - that there are different ways to be honest, kind, joyful, generous, loyal and magical.

2. Tell some cool, engaging, entertaining stories with new characters.

3. Have a moral at the end - that virtues don't always take the form you expect, but are always worth having - so that Twilight can learn another important lesson about friendship.

I don't think I'm going to have any problem writing for the host of original characters I've written out. The problem is, I need to write the first chapter to frame everything properly. It's very Mane Six-heavy, and I'm discovering just how difficult it is to write for characters I didn't invent myself. Past the first few paragraphs it feels rushed, forced and just plain bad. I feel like I need serious help fixing this.

What I really want is for the first chapter to be over so I can get to the "cool stuff" of having the Mane 6 interact with the OCs and having the OCs tell their story. But I know the first chapter has to be engaging, well-paced and convincing, otherwise people won't read past it to look at the stuff I had an easier time writing.

First Chapter, first draft:

Here are my story notes. BE WARNED! This spoils basically everything important about the OCs and all three stories. Read only if you don't care about spoilers.
69 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 38289
While I'm waiting for my writer's block to fade, I wrote this:

Have a look.
>> No. 45334
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I'm sorry I've kept you all waiting so long, but I just can't seem to write anything. I'm still stuck at the same sentence I was weeks ago and I just can't write anything more at the moment.
>> No. 45899
No need to apologize, it happens to the best of us.

That said, try this: open a new document. Put in that last sentence that you're stuck on. Start writing. Push those words out like you just ate a dozen oatmeal raisin cookies. are you crazy Write about pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows. Write recipes. Write whatever word is going through your head at the moment. KILLKILLKILLKILL Write it a dozen times or more if you have to.

Give yourself a time limit. Don't stop writing until the buzzer buzzes. When it's all done, delete what you just wrote (unless you suddenly had a flash of brilliance, in which case, save that bit). Repeat the process again the next day, as needed, until the words flow from your fingers like you just ate at Taco Bell for the third time since Sunday.

Yes, I just compared writing to taking a dump twice. It's what I do. You can thank me later.
>> No. 45902
I apologize in advance for this.

Can you do that? Can Taco Bell make you explode twice?
>> No. 46061
If you aren't careful, somewhere a bird will also explode.
>> No. 46064
Yep, you don't want to anger Johnniepear.
>> No. 48901
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So Season 2 looks like it may cause irreconcileable plot issues with Spirits of Harmony. This series is on haitus until I can check out precisely what they are and how - or if - I can resolve them. In the meantime, I'll be working on a Shadowbolts fic series and possibly expanding my Facets series of alternate character interpretations (which you can find here: >>38003 ).

I apologise profusely for the inconvenience.
>> No. 48928
Don't give up on it, though, even if canon contradicts it. Just throw a season-1 tag on it so we know canon is contraindicated. :) Lots of authors will have to deal with this in the future.
>> No. 48932
Just slap on that "Season 1" tag and you're good to go... and most likely, Season 2 won't interfere too much with the story, if at all. Unless they all become lesbian... *10 second pause* Pray. Pray that it happens.

Anyhow, slap on a "Season 1" tag and I see no problem. I mean, the story is fucking great, one of the best I've read, and the premise is excellent. Unless you get a 3 month writers block (I'm gonna kill myself soon) then you're good to go!

I like this "boring" samurai. Seems more social :D
>> No. 48936
In the meantime, please go see my other work at >>48904
>> No. 50105
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Right, let's see. Apparent plot complications so far (spoilered for safety):

- The Elements of Harmony were kept sealed in Canterlot Tower, not kept by the Mane 6 in their own homes.
- The Elements were bound to Celestia and Luna somehow.

That's a surprisingly small number of complications, all things considered. Shall we endeavour to work out how the story can be rectified?
>> No. 50113
So easy.
Number 1 doesn't sit well with me for a lot of reasons, I'd flat out ignore it.
Number 2- They were the ORIGINAL bearers, at least in their rule. Simply adjust timeline as needed, which really isn't much at all.

I've got your new work on my queue, and I'll certainly check it out. BUT I'd really love for you to finish SoH. As in a lot.
>> No. 50118
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>Number 2
I'm OK with this...

But seriously dude, Seattle, I love you bro, but...

>Number 1
>I'd flat out ignore it.
>I'd flat out ignore canon.
Not sure if serious.
>> No. 50122
Considering it's fanfiction and that going back and changing every single thing you write every time canon changes (oh boy, was transformers fun) is ridiculous, I agree with him and say he is being completely serious, because, at the end, none of your stories have anything canon about them.
>> No. 50124
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Cuz it's damned STUPID, that's why! Firstly, the EoH are ephemeral by nature, tied to the spirits of the bearers more than to their physical manifestations of necklaces and tiara, as evidenced by EP 2 of Season 1.
Why would Celly hoard the jewels if she can't use them? EH? … or… ORRRR, you could capitalize on this! Use your events in your upcoming character arches as oblique reasons as to WHY Celly decided to hold onto the EoH with the main six.
>> No. 50176
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Interesting point. When I'm not livering half a bottle of wine, I'll think about how to incorporate that suggestion into SoH.
>> No. 50181
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>half a bottle of wine

>welcome to my world
>> No. 50187
This does seem like more a discussion for /pony/ but something did occur to me...

Actually consider Nightmare Moon's actions - She smashes the original 'element' orbs and assumes her victory is complete - suggesting that the pony who's second most likely in the world to know what the Elements are believes that they're physical. This is only one item which suggests that the physical manifestation of the elements are the true forms. So it's not really that stupid after all.
>> No. 50190
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As this is for Storm's fic, I think it's appropriate to discuss this here. (Storm, if you want us to stop, just say so).

So, THAT. Is an excellent point. Unless you draw a line between NMM and Luna (which I do, though who knows how much longer that'll hold up).
AND bear in mind it's been a thousand years, and maybe the EoH were new to the sisters as the first bearers. Powerful, mysterious artifacts, neh? Maybe Celly didn't learn otherwise until they found other bearers, as Storm could accentuate (if he so chooses).

... I don't... think any of that needs to be spoilered...
>> No. 50200
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>> No. 50220
>hnnnng where the hell is my jpg shoop of Luna's head on Mel Gibson from Braveheart running down the hill in a kilt, sword on high screaming "FREEDOOOOOOM"

>> No. 50353
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>if you want us to stop
>this thread gets free bumps
>still not sure if serious ;)
>> No. 50358
I still say we need to involve the G-man somehow... I mean, he can travel through dimensions like it's a bad joke, I'm sure he has ponies in his uni-dimensional house or something.
>> No. 50509
I was waiting for your reaction to the canon. (There's spoilers in this whole thing, just don't read it if you don't want to be spoiled on season 2 so far.)

I think you have to almost ask the question of "where do the Elements come from?" Almost.

I dunno, I'll just answer the damn questions. The elements being in their homes can easily be removed from this, I think; since s1 canon says they're internal, as has been mentioned, they can still talk to the mane 6 without the baubels being present...

Okay, complication. Discord TOOK the Elements away. As in, the physical manifestations. Without which they can't be used. We can say that, given his Q continuum godmoding abilities, he can just keep them from being usable at his will, but that feels like a bit of a copout. It's possible nevertheless that they're still able to have a connection to them without having them present, they just wouldn't be able to use them.

As for them being connected to Luna and Celestia... Perhaps using more than one element causes ascendancy. I was discussing this with a friend the other day: when they sealed Discord away, Celestia and Luna most likely would have been using three elements each (whether or not they started off in a group of 6 is irrelevant to this discussion), which would cause ascendancy to alicorn form, most likely granting immortality and the power to raise the sun and moon. (There's another explanation for that, but I won't get into it.) Fanon has more or less always accepted that Celestia got her current form when she used all six elements to banish Nightmare Moon.

So it stands to reason, I think, that there's a possibility that using the elements in this manner takes one outside their influence; say, because they were suddenly no longer able to die, and thus the elements could not be passed on the normal way. Or maybe they were able to dissociate themselves from the elements so that others could use them; thus the timeframe of when they could have been used by other ponies is between now and either one thousand years ago (at the very earliest) or the end of Discord's reign.

Of course, the easy option is just to ask Sethisto for a season-1 tag on your story. I just realized I have to do that now myself.
>> No. 51942
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As a sort of apology (particularly to Seattle. Present and Kim Fluttershy) for taking so goddamn long with the next chapter while I work out my issues with Spirits of Harmony, here's the ensemble of all the six Bearers from "The War That Never Was". I hope they're easy enough to match to their characters in the literature, but just in case, here's the list.

On the left we have the Hoofington brigade, earth ponies every one. From top, Strawberry, Cinnamon, Morning Song and Star Gazer.

On the right we have the Saddle Wood duo, from top, Thunderclap and Silver Spark and yes, Silver Spark's colour scheme is familiar to you for a reason.
>> No. 52048
Oh awesome! :D (I have to do this myself sometime!)

I always imagined Morning Song being a little more sea green.
>> No. 52050
Goddamn, I should really put my name back in the name field now. That was me.
>> No. 55474
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I'm thinking about writing the third story before I finish the second.

I don't think I'd have as serious a case of writer's block if I did it that way. I wouldn't be able to release it to EqD but I would be able to at least get it out here for reviewers.
>> No. 55478
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>> No. 55514
This sounds like a good idea. Blast down that writer's block!
>> No. 55557
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I doth glare at you in suspicion sir.
Playing with my emotions shall result in fisticuffs, be forewarned.
>> No. 69366
I am going to bump this as we've not heard anything in quite some time. Stormchaser, you ever work out the deal with season 2?
>> No. 69370
I am also curious about that Shadowbolts and Wonderbolts fic.
>> No. 69408
Ooh, are you talking about >>38003? Because that was also good. :D
>> No. 69412

Me too.
>> No. 70946
There's going to have to be some fairly big rewrites, both to fix general stiffness-of-prose issues and to make the story fit the new canon of season 2. Shouldn't be all that hard though, Season 2 didn't screw things up quite as badly as I thought they would.

I'm still alive. Had hand surgery recently and haven't been in a fic-writing mood the past few months.
>> No. 71035
Well that's totally understandable! Hope that surgery helped. :)

As for fixing re: canon, I'd wait until after the next episode at least. It's sure to be a fanon-destroyer.
>> No. 71044
That's my plan.
>> No. 86537
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Right. No. I've kept you all waiting too long for this.

I'm going through everything I've written in Spirits of Harmony so far and rewriting it until I'm happy with it, even if that means I have to do entire chapters over again. Maybe once I do that, I can start moving forward again. The more I look at the completed chapters the more dissatisfied I feel, and I'm never going to be able to write new material until I can get rid of that feeling.

Original (for comparison purposes):


This is the rewritten Chapter I. I'll be moving on to the first proper story section soon.
>> No. 86571
I admire your drive.

Honestly? It's probably due to how long you've been writing this work. Your style and tastes have no doubt changed, and it's been long enough that you being dissatisfied with the older chapters comes as no surprise. :B No suggestions, but I hope this works for you, I still want to see more. :D
>> No. 86583
Well, like, some things just didn't work and I should have seen wouldn't work from the start, like the mass-introduction sections. That's too much information too fast. That bit got axed and nopony will miss it.

I've also been hard at work removing sentences or phrases that struck me as purple or superfluous. I saw a thread on /fic/ recently that said a truly talented writer doesn't need to use all that many words to get his point across and I'm trying to live up to that. Nevertheless, wordcount in the new version has actually increased, because I've added new dialogue in sections I felt were a bit rushed. Hopefully this'll help sell the piece better - the transition from Mane 6 to OC now happens with a slightly softer "CLUNK" than before.

I've got over my issues writing for Pinkie Pie. I'm still having a lot of trouble writing for Rarity and a few irritations writing for Fluttershy but all the other characters come naturally.

Also, you'll notice I've reformatted the document significantly for ease of reading. I bet more than a few readers were driven away by my immense wall of text last time.
>> No. 86817
Good to hear. :) There's nothing harder than finding out your writing doesn't live up to your own standards, but I'm glad you're dedicated enough to improve it instead of giving up. :D
>> No. 97408
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For all those still interested in this fic, I finally got all the existing chapters revised to my satisfaction, and I've released the new one!


Massive shout-out to Kurbz, who's been not only an excellent reviewer but an excellent buddy through the harrowing process of getting me basically satisfied with my own work.
>> No. 97545
I hadn't realized this was star-6. :D Congrats on that, dude!
>> No. 97546
I had no idea it was star-6, and well deserved at that. :D Congrats!
>> No. 97854
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EXCELLENT new chapter Storm! I enjoyed it too much to go into review mode, so I don't have much in that regard. Just wanted to tell ya how much I enjoyed the development. Actually had to go back an read the previous chapter to get back in perspective, which drew back a slue of memories of "Oh shit, I remember asking for it to go like that".

Soooooo, when's the next chapter comin out, eh? EH??
>> No. 97859
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Hey Seattle! It's nice to hear from you again! :D

I'm working on Chapter 8 right now, but it's going slow 'cause I'm hung up on a scene I can't end and I've been having trouble sleeping right lately. Also, my second monitor is on the blink (literally) so I don't always have access to a proper workspace.
>> No. 97932
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Good to see you too buddy!

> hung up on a scene I can't end
You don't say? Welllllll... you want an extra pair of eyes? I admit, I may be half-motivated by my love of spoilers, but I'd like to help out with this great story again, if you want.

Good luck gettin' some shut eye mate, I recommend whiskey!
>> No. 103208
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Oh, also, have some art. Credit to C4tspajamas.
>> No. 103230
Very excited to continue on. :D We're broaching new territory!
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