Sunday, 11 January 2015

Fanfic Flashback 1: The 20 Percent Solution

Before I begin, I'll just mention that my reading of It Doesn't Matter Now has been completed, and can be found right here on YouTube. Okay... this is the first in a hugely self-indulgent occasional series in which I plan to look back over my past ponyfics and see what I think of them now. The very first one I wrote was a 100-word song parody (Friendly Ponyville Fluttershy) but what I'm dealing with here is the first full-length ponyfic I ever published:

Title pic for "The 20 Percent Solution" by Loganberry
Look, it's pink; what more do you want from my editing?
The 20 Percent Solution by Loganberry
Mane Six and Spike
Comedy/Slice of Life; 4K words; May 2012; Everyone
Rainbow Dash is unimpressed when her nap is interrupted by Pinkie Pie -- but becomes rather more intrigued when she's told that Pinkie has cooked up Equestria's first energy drink especially for her. Pinkie seems awfully protective of her new creation, however...

You can tell how old this story is by the fact that it starts with the title and author's name in the text; yep, this was actually first published on Ye Olde Google Docs, though it no longer exists in that form. It's not up to the standards I'd want to write to now, though I don't think it's that bad for a first effort. I still find it quite funny and, though it's basically a shaggy pony story, I think it's a bit more than just a one-joke piece. I'm still fairly content with the characterisation and dialogue, too.

Problems? First, the pacing: Twilight gets lumbered with some frankly rather tedious exposition, while a sub-scene in which Rainbow visits Zecora's (off-screen) is much too short. Second, I oh-so-obviously wanted to give everypony a part; I think it would have been a better story had I taken several of them out. Cutting the cast down to Rainbow, Pinkie, Twilight and one other (either Applejack or Fluttershy; sorry, Rarity!) might well have worked better.

Amusingly, The 20 Percent Solution remains to this day my longest completed work of pony prose. One disappointment: nobody has ever picked up on the title of Twilight's book, or at least if they have then they haven't told me anything about it. Still, considering that I'd only been in the fandom for about a month when I wrote this, I think I could have made a worse stab at it.

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