A market for this kind of stuff

I can think of a thousand stories in the ponyverse — I have nearly that many “favourites” anointed at Fimfiction — I’d rather read than my own, but damn me if I didn’t warm to the idea of turning the TwiBrush tales into an ebook:

Fan fiction, in which aficionados of existing books and movies write characters into new storylines, has long been popular fodder on Internet forums — but stories based on copyrighted works are essentially impossible to sell. Amazon wants to change that with its new “Kindle Worlds” program.

Kindle Worlds, which Amazon Publishing announced on Wednesday, lets authors write “fanfic” based on licensed series and sell their works in the Kindle Store. Authors will receive 35% of net sales for books of 10,000 words or more, and 20% for short stories between 5,000 and 10,000 words. Amazon didn’t disclose how the rest of the sales will be split between the company and the copyright holders.

Now I’m certainly jumping the gun here, since Amazon has struck no deal with Hasbro and may not ever; but just the idea that such a scheme exists — and under the auspices of Amazon, which is one of the world’s Least Destructible operations — suggests that it’s just a matter of time before your AppleDash ship starts showing up on Kindles.

It’s now or never

Okay, I’ve been working on The Life That Late He Led for two months now. It’s time I let Fimfiction look at it. First chapter has been submitted. (Word count: 5696 according to this editor, 5946 on theirs.) I’ll post the Fimlink when the story is approved.

Update: Given the utterly negative reaction to this tale, I’ve pulled it back for now. I may send it up later after a serious reworking — but not before.

Working on it

The Life That Late He Led is now up to the point where it can be legitimately considered a Work In Progress. The catchall link is here.

Reimagining TwiBrush

I have decided to continue the series to a fourth story, which will incorporate a reshuffling of the timeline due to Twilight’s recent, um, promotion. (I am not retconning the earlier stuff, because I don’t think it needs it; if I work this thing correctly, it won’t matter.)

Several items, of necessity, will have to be deleted; I have a couple more I think I could add. But the goal will be to include the entire timeline in a single story, perhaps about the same length as The Sparkle Chronicles, eighteen to twenty thousand words.

Update: I’ve changed the direction slightly. Now if I could just get some of it actually written.

On the to-do list

At some point, I suppose I’m going to have to rework the TwiBrush timeline to reflect her new winged self. Brush, for his part, doesn’t seem to mind:

“There would be adjustments, surely, but I would love her even if she got busted back to Magic Kindergarten, or whatever it’s called.”

I would expect nothing less from this pony, of course.

Aside from that, I’m not particularly worried about the future of the franchise. Yet.

Apologies of a sort

I’ve neglected this place of late, but then I haven’t had a whole lot to say, and no compelling story idea are forthcoming.

There will be works in progress eventually. Really.

Possibly usable

Naming consultant Nancy Friedman has happened upon a software gizmo to benefit those of us who write pony tales:

I don’t get the appeal of My Little Pony even on a meta-meta-ironic level, but I am not you, and you, for all I know, may be a brony. In that case, knock yourself out with Ponify, a browser extension “which uses intelligent case-adaptive technologies to replace non-pony related words with ones that are pony-related” — hand into hoof, for example.

I haven’t played with this — it looks like something for Google Chrome, and I figure I’ve given enough of my resources to Google already — but I hope it’s smart enough not to cough up something like “hoofkerchief.”

And you give yourself away

I’m still scratching around for story ideas. Apparently, though, I can recommend them to others more easily than I can recommend them to myself. A wannabe author at Yahoo! Answers was asking for story ideas involving Rainbow Dash, and in a surprisingly small amount of time I had this proposal on the table:

Dash discovers a couple of grey feathers in her wings, and a grey hair in her mane, and she panics. A medical exam reveals that her frequent high-speed flying is aging her at about twice the normal rate, and she panics even more.

I have decided not to write this, at least not right away, on the off-chance that our budding scribe might actually use it. (It did get me a Best Answer, one of a couple thousand I’ve earned.) If I don’t see it in a couple of months, I may give it a shot myself.

The name matches the flank

This is something I wrote about elsewhere three years ago on the subject of Thomas Crapper, vendor (if not necessarily the inventor) of flush toilets, and the unusual appropriateness of his surname:

John Bemelmans Marciano, in his book Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words (New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2009), advances this intriguing hypothesis:

“It does seem fair to question, however, just how a plumbing-fixtures manufacturer came by so serendipitous a surname. Fate? Or was it a case of nominative determinism, in which Thomas’ surname steered him into his life’s work? Or did Thomas choose the name Crapper for professional advantage? That would show some serious dedication to marketing.”

This is connected to pony, of course, by way of cutie marks. What are the chances, for instance, that Diamond Tiara would end up with, yes, a diamond tiara on her flank? Was Featherweight undersized at birth? Were Snips and Snails from the very beginning destined to be friends? Could anypony have guessed beforehoof that Princess Luna would have spent a millennium banished to the moon?

A bow to the fans

I’m not about to go full Sally Field on you, but several someponies apparently really like me: somehow today I recorded my 2,000th story read at FIMFiction. Who’d have thought that my modest little contributions would draw any kind of audience at all, let alone that much?

Next milestone: to see The Sparkle Chronicles hit a thousand by itself. (It’s at 953 now.)