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Bronycon writing panel Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3593

Hi there, just your friendly neighborhood Raindrops here. So, it turns out I’m the head panelist for a Bronycon writing panel, which is titled, “How To Write A Better Story”. We’ll be explaining the Dos and Don’ts of fan fiction, and I aspire to make this better than EqD made it last year. I’m currently the only ponyperson assigned to this, but I’d like to fill a panel of 6 people. You guys are my first options because honestly, I can’t think of anypony better to host a writing panel than the writing community that taught me almost everything I know about writing.

So, any thoughts or suggestions about the panel would be helpful, even if you don’t want to be on it. This is kind of a big deal to me. Not only have I wanted to do something like this for the community since… well, forever, but I’m also going to finally get to meet some of you in person, which is, like, awesome. So, if you’d like to be on the panel, let me know, although I’m probably going to favor people who know quite a bit about writing, since this is kind of an instructional panel, after all.


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Put up a laptop with a Skype connection and I'll lend my sultry voice and Adonis face in digital, streaming form.

No, not really, unless you're honestly that desperate for co-hosts.

Make sure to include a discussion on how and why Past Sins and My Little Dashie are nothing more than a poor attempts at emotional manipulation.


>Make sure to include a discussion on how and why Past Sins and My Little Dashie are nothing more than a poor attempts at emotional manipulation.
Don't do this. You can say why you think so (and I'm sure most many will agree with the sentiment), but if you pass it off as fact, you blow any credibility you may have had.

Edit: Also, if you do so, make sure you can actually back up what you say in a well-reasoned and thorough manner, even if it never gets to that point.

Expect a longer response on this later.
This post was edited by a moderator on .


File: 1359078493025.png (67.67 KB, 561x377, lightningdustcpstill_zpsec1a27…)

I'm totally in. Sign me up.

Also, yay Minjask! :D


Hmm, valid point.


Well, I'm going to be there, and I'd like to think that I've ;earned a ton from guys like >>3601, so I'd like to throw my name into the hat. If you want an audition or something, like a quiz on writing to test my mettle, bring it!

Like I said in my other thread, I want to bring a bit more of a spotlight to fan fiction as a legitimate form of appreciation for something.

Tactical 3604

With respect, I think you should straight up PM your favorite authors and ask if they'll be there. Alexstrasza, Skirts, Blueshift, Kkat. Vimbert. I would be begging for a place on the panel if I was going to be there, but who gives a shit about me and what I have to say? Your panel should consist of nobody who hasn't authored a major hit and isn't named Pascoite or Samurai Anon.
This post was edited by its author on .

Compendium of Steve 3605

Well, maybe they could benefit from the perspective of small-time authors who are down at their level. I for one would offer to be such a panelist, but for now my future is uncertain. In a few months time I'll know where I'll stand, but if things permit me to stick around then I'm game.

Of course, look into other, more renowned authors. It can't be nothing but no-names, but if it boils down to that, then ah well. Still plenty to be said.

And as someone once said, "If you can, do. If you can't, teach."

RazgrizS57 !Cinderm9Hs 3606

While getting some of ponyfiction's best in-person would be amazing, I know for a fact that distantly that's not possible for some and I wouldn't put it past some others to be too socially anxious when put under the spotlight in front of a large crowd of people.

The internet being the façade that it is, as a last resort see if you can broadcast a person or two.
This post was edited by its author on .


I'm not even going to pretend that I'm up among those greats (my most well-known fic is a crackish, populist comedy), but really do enjoy teaching and public speaking. If there's someone smarter and better-learned than I, I won't stand in Raindrop's way of recruiting them, but if there's space, you know you've got my humble offer :)

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3609

File: 1359082001206.png (158.76 KB, 954x843, 135068706572.png)

>Put up a laptop with a Skype connection and I'll lend my sultry voice and Adonis face in digital, streaming form.
I may actually look into that, or just mention your name.

That's kind of what I was going to do. I'm going to try to grab some well known authors who really know what their doing but I figured I may as well stop by this part of the fandom first. /fic/ may not be well known, but there can be no denying the quality of fan fiction that comes out of this place, and EqD refers authors here more often than not. I would not want this panel run without a well respected /fic/ representative. Besides, we could use some publicity.

Yeah, I plan to find some relatively well known authors and what not, but I pretty much live under a rock, so I tend to utilize my friends as my eyes and ears. Having a well known author from here who can help me give pointers on the dos and don'ts of fan fiction would be like christmas. In any case, I'm not making any final decisions right now. I'll let this thread stew for a while to see what turns up.

Thanks. I'm half tempted to pick you for no other purpose than to meet you in person, but I know better. I'll have to think about things for a while before making any decisions.

Tactical 3610

I'm sure some of them are attending. Just ask nicely. You can't afford to not try imo.

Ion-Sturm 3611

When is this panel going to be hosted, anyways, or have they not gotten the times organized yet?


I wish I could help you out, but sadly I don't have the time, patience, or funds to go anywhere.

So I guess I'm stuck here

That, and I'm leaning towards the "who gives a shit what I have to say" attitude, but more towards the extreme side of Tactical's primary opinion


It is possible I may be able to make this event—but isn't this going to be in August? We're a little early to make lasting plans, don't you think?

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3616

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We don't even know what room it's in yet. Everything is still in the developmental stages.

Early bird gets the worm, right? Plus there's a lot that goes into these things, apparently. I'd rather have everything booked and sitting for three months than deal with the craziness of throwing it all together at the last minute.


Would be interested, but I live on the opposite side of the country (and in another country) and there's no way I'm doing anything like that on a uni budget.

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3619

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Eh, figures. I would have loved to have had you.


File: 1359090014532.png (924 B, 126x116, 131878850070.png)

Brainstorming some topic ideas…

What are your rights as a fanfiction author? Depending on how much you want to study into this, there's a lot of useful information out there on the Internet. Unfortunately, a good lot of that information is speculation, because very rarely has it been taken to court (so little precedence to make an absolute claim on). Character are most likely to get you into trouble, since most other parts of fanfiction could be generalised under archetypes; an author who writes only OCs has a much better case than one who uses show characters. Check http://www.chillingeffects.org/fanfic/ to start yourself off.

How do you actually write a story? — as in, the formatting involved, what programs to use, etc. I think the easiest way of writing stories is to use Markdown, since you only need standard keyboard characters and it looks fine even when un-parsed. People use it even for marking up professional books since there are a number of ways to export to E-book formats. You're at risk of this simply becoming a rattling off of software, so try and avoid that. You could also talk about stuff like keeping to a schedule and writing periodically (though I'd know nothing about that), since it's kind of related to the topic header. Similarly you could talk about file management and stuff — just anything that's about writing without actually being about writing. (Check http://blog.rogerdodger.me/post/38144283872/file-management-and-story-formatting for my rambling if that helps.)

Thinking Grander and Outside the Box Fanfiction lends itself to seeing similar stuff a lot. Stories set in Ponyville only have so many ways to go. There are a number of ways to utilise the familiarity of old characters for a new story. Setting is, perhaps, the most important part of that. The trouble with using Ponyville is that you're limited to things that actually are in Ponyville (to some degree — you can get away with a fair bit). Think about the story you want to tell, and think about what kind of environment would really bring out maximum conflict for that narrative. Also think about what will make your job plain easier. Generally speaking, a good fanfiction will use old ideas to get its readers, then use new ones to keep them. You can rattle off a few good examples out there in different genres to make the point. You don't necessarily have to write epic adventures like Fallout: Equestria or Dangerous Business to utilise the setting.

Taking Criticism There's two different ways of looking at this, or rather a spectrum, and both extremes don't work for obvious reasons. Listen too much and you're stuck in a cycle of constant revision and low output. Listen too little and you end up with no introspection into your work and no improvement. As much as we like to encourage people to listen to feedback, it's also worth mentioning that sometimes you've gotta side with yourself. It's your story, after all. Make it yours. I think that the extreme of not writing anything because of perfectionism is much worse than writing a boatload of crap. If you write nothing, you learn nothing.

Generally speaking, you should emphasise the bottom line of writing: writers write. Some of us here haven't even gotten that far yet, and everything else is just dressing.

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3622

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>As much as we like to encourage people to listen to feedback, it's also worth mentioning that sometimes you've gotta side with yourself. It's your story, after all. Make it yours.
I've always followed this view on that: The first time it comes up, if you disagree, don't change it. If three or more people tell you the same thing, look into changing it. If you agree upfront, change it.

Grif 3628

>I think that the extreme of not writing anything because of perfectionism is much worse than writing a boatload of crap. If you write nothing, you learn nothing.
So true.

Applejinx !tDashiepow 3631

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It's certainly not too early to make plans- speaking as another panelist (focussing more on long-form rather than the short stories that FIMfiction is more suited to)
>Generally speaking, you should emphasise the bottom line of writing: writers write. Some of us here haven't even gotten that far yet, and everything else is just dressing.
I know that's going to be a big part of my panel, because in talking about novel-writing, before you can even worry about making it compelling and building momentum to a specific outcome, you've got to make your word counts. I did about 300K words over the last year and this more than anything is what told me I'd be able to help others do likewise- it'll be more, I worked out that I would be able to write another book before Bronycon so I've pretty much decided to do that. By the time Bronycon arrives, I'll have finished that one, and the whole process will be fresh in my mind rather than half a year old.
That's sort of 'writing a better BOOK' rather than 'story', though. One thing I'd like to see is the various panels (we're getting more than one, maybe more than a couple) each having very distinct identities, and the con organizers are eager to see 'activity' panels that involve the congoers more than just sitting there looking at a celebrity. We may be looking at 'writerstock' this year, because I've never seen a situation nearly so rewarding: a con actively pushing to produce a fantastic writer track, a big con with much attendance, and out in the fandom, support for writers wildly superior to any other fandom I've ever seen. We have the warhorses (MLD, Past Sins, et al) drawing in new innocent readers, we have the best hub site I've ever seen in FIMfiction (compare it to say FurAffinity!), I can personally confirm that if you keep at it you get a great audience even if you get no 'featuring' etc. at all, and that's purely through social effects which would not exist on a FurAffinity or self-hosted websites: we're swimming in cream. The message for the Bronycon writing track is just that. It's a fantastic community.

Tactical 3637

And here I was going to suggest that you write short stories instead of putting the screws to yourself for another TMB-like effort. Not short in length, just in form. Like, say, only the CMC side of "Foaling." A beginning, a progression, a conclusion, a meaning.

Guess that's me and not you, though.

Bleeding Rain!DROPScczL2 3642

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Tac, I have no idea who or what you're referring to.


He was replying to Applejinx.

Applejinx !tDashiepow 3655

File: 1359191528115.png (174.14 KB, 394x358, Screen shot 2011-12-03 at 2.22…)

Erm- the way that relates to a writing panel is sort of this: though I am pretty brave, I am as insecure as any other poni writer. So, faced with the amazing good fortune of taking my 'crit threads' and extensive work trying to help other writers, 'on the road' to Bronycon, I'll jump at the opportunity (and feel I can really bring something, because I analyze and teach this stuff already in threads) but at the same time I'll be worried I'll be seen as an upstart (and I can't run panels from that POV, I'll have to feign authority whether everypony likes it or not because that's part of the job, you cannot be up there going 'I dunno, what do you think?')

soooo… I'll feel better if I've just finished another poni book, and have just enough time to do that with a few weeks to spare. It will sort of underscore my right to be there, in that one of the challenges people face is simply to write at all, and being able to take on such a committment so glibly says many things about my workflow, organization, ability to overcome writer's block, etc.
I too will be looking for folks but if I can't find novelists that I can work with I might end up doing a longform panel as more of a presentation/workshop, and in that event I'll really want the extra experience and whatever higher profile the fourth book will find, such as it is. For every pony who's said earnestly, 'trixieverse became the best novels on FIMfiction, I laughed I cried I clopped I was changed as a person' there's one who says 'it's garbage', so I need to keep buckin' them apples so at least I can say I'm workin' :)


That's pretty cool. I'd love to meet you guys. It's too bad that so many people wont be able to make it.

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