Everyone wants to go to EQD. It's a fact. It's affirmation and it's attention, and even though we all like to say that we don't write simply because we want those things, be honest with yourself, you still want
There are all kinds of opinions as to what it takes to get your story posted on Equestria Daily. Here's a tip: If someone tells you that one of the main requirements is perfect grammar, you should probably tune out the rest of what that person has to say.
The other thing that's not
true about Equestria Daily is that you need to be some really high-class author who totally knows what the hell they're doing and knows how to make something really impressive, leagues above the majority of ponificcers.
Here are three simple requirements for getting to Equestria Daily. These are obviously flexible and also they are obviously not true and just me making shit up, but I think the PRs and EQD-featured ponificcers in the room will agree that these are important.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1) Have good prose.
Maybe this is personal bias, because for me, prose is basically my entire basis for passing judgement on a fic being good or bad. Pre-readers are readers.
They are not impartial judges attaching a metaphysical value of Worthy or Unworthy to your fic; they are people reading and experiencing what you wrote. A lot of flaws can be forgiven if your fic is enjoyable to read, and a lot of good stuff can be ruined by lack of writing skill.
A related point is to keep the PR's personal biases in mind. Your writing might, plain and simple, not jive with your pre-reader's taste. This isn't fair, but life isn't fair, and differences between you readers is an unavoidable reality of writing. Deal with it. Whether you choose to compromise your vision and move more towards what the PR wants to read is your decision, but I recommend making the compromise. The advice that the PR gives is inherently meaningful even if you disagree with all
of it, because now you know what someone might not like about your story.
There is a PR reading this who is about to say "it's not about whether the one PR enjoys it or not, we recognize when a fic has merit regardless of our own enjoyment." That PR or two is either lacking in self-awareness, or very scrupulous about putting fics up for second opinions. It is unlikely that a PR will open your fic thinking consciously about whether other
people would enjoy what they're reading, and even if they are, they are inevitably, inherently, unavoidably biased by whether the fic is what they
would enjoy. At the same time, the PRs do
have brains, and aren't going to call your writing crap if it isn't; I'm just saying that bias is a factor in whether you get accepted or handed a strike.
Where was I?
Oh, right. Basically, actual proficiency with words is one of the most important things for getting to EQD. There is no way in the world
you'll get posted on EQD with lousy prose.2) Give it a solid hook.
This is obviously the most subjective bit of advice in this post, but it's something to keep in mind, considering the fact that your goal is to nail your one chance to impress your one pre-reader.
Active, engaging writing is probably a better bet than sedate, emotional writing. Open with wild melodrama instead of sedate and subtelty. Open with in medias res action and/or dialogue instead of tension and setup. This is another thing that comes down to the fact that you should treat the pre-readers like readers. A solid hook is highly important for making your story enjoyable. If your hook sucks, the reader (including a pre-reader) will not want to read your story, and will be somewhat more inclined to hand it back with a strike. This is an entirely
fair thing to do to you; if a PR can't enjoy your story despite your story having a lot of good stuff in it, then that is your failing, not theirs.
Again this is something that the pre-readers themselves will deny, and again I will say that I am skeptical of any pre-reader who insists on such a statement so strongly. A cheap-shot, exciting hook is an effective hook, and other types of hooks are both more difficult to pull off, and slightly (not always, mind you) harmed by pre-reader bias. The first part of that sentence is more important by far–a good hook is a good hook, I'm just giving you a tip on what can easily be made to work well.
Yes, navel-gazing bullshit can be good, and yes, navel-gazing bullshit can make it to EQD, but navel-gazing bullshit needs to be engaging. In fact, it's probably even more important that navel-gazing bullshit be engaging, because you can't rely on flowing narrative or visceral impact–you've got to have a good voice, good flow, and a good sense for what's actually interesting to read.3) Have an actually good idea.
This is the one, the only unwritten EQD "requirement" that I disagree with, but I'll get to that in a minute.
The gist of it is that PRs are not fools, unlike your typical Fimfiction reader. If you are someone who has any
use whatsoever for the advice of a nobody like me, you will not dazzle a PR with flash and style. A beautifully written story that's nothing but a "boy meets girl" story will not go to EQD. Which is not to say that you must
have an amazingly planned and crafted tale in order to go to EQD if you nail it on the other two points; all I'm saying is that the other two cannot be the only thing that carries your fic.
I have three
stories that got handed back with "I enjoyed reading this, but it's not the kind of story I would recommend for posting." It still
annoys me to think about that, but if anything my experience should serve of proof as what I'm saying here. You can't just be a good writer. You also have to write an idea that has some kind of merit regardless of who's writing it.
A word about failure:Suck it up and move on.
Sometimes what you wrote just wasn't meant for EQD. Either there's something about it that they just don't want to post no matter how much you improve it, or you just don't have what it takes to do a good enough job. That's fine.
Not everything you write is going to be awesome, and not everything that's awesome is going to make it to EQD. Your goal isn't to acquire the bragging rights of having stories on EQD, your goal is to create meaning, create beauty, and most of all, your goal is to keep writing and keep growing.
By all means, drop your story into my thread and let me at it, and then by all means spend some time fixing it and changing it and making it better, but don't be ashamed of just letting it go.
Same advice that I've given several times already: you should be okay with putting an imperfect story behind you. That's because sometimes you really can't
make a story as good as you want it to be. You didn't write it the way a master would write it, but you wrote it the way you would write it.
Oh, what's that? I didn't address the whole grammar issue?
Shut up. If you have what it takes to do these three things well, then your grammar is probably good anyway. Also, plenty of imperfect grammar goes through to EQD, because there are a lot of technically wrong grammar things that you and I regularly read and don't even notice. Also also, a story that nails it but is sprinkled with grammar errors will be handed back with a "fix stuff and it'll post it" non-strike.
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