Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Adventure! With Ponies!

A few days too late, really, but over the last week I've been watching the 1984 BBC adaptation of The Box of Delights. Not just because the railway scenes were filmed down the road from me, either! Obviously the effects are showing their age (though they were almost cutting-edge at the time) and John Masefield should be ashamed of himself for the final scene, but the whole thing has such a seasonal atmosphere to it.

Anyway, on to the main topic of this post:

I am damned if I am going to go a year without publishing anything on Fimfiction, so I am going to write a story. I was originally going to push myself into something and just keep it for myself, but a couple of friends convinced me that someone might enjoy my even-worse-than-usual ramblings, so it'll be published for the world to see and frighten their kids with. (Even if they don't have kids, yes. Don't argue.)

This won't work like an ordinary story. Even mine usually get looked at a bit by other people before they go up, but this is going out as quickly as I can get it down. We're not talking Austraeoh pace or anything, but still, pretty fast. I think I can trust myself not to write anything that actually breaks Fimfiction rules, but this does obviously open me up to the risk of making silly blunders with the story itself. Worth the risk.

Because I couldn't bear the thought of saving a document called Unsaved Document 1,* the story file was first called Adventure! With Ponies!, but a quick skim through a few possibilities to see whether they'd been used for ponyfic before and I settled on The Danger Within. There is a reason, which I'll keep quiet for now. As that title suggests, it will be an adventure story, and one of the old school: a small group of characters making their way through—well, that bit I will also leave unexplained for a while.

* Turns out I'd misremembered and that LibreOffice would have called it Untitled Document 1, which may or may not be any better.

Oh, and the main protagonist will be Fancy Pants. Why? Because I like him and enjoyed writing him in Ever Let the Fancy Roam. Don't worry, he'll have a few other ponies with him so it won't be a monologue. Actually, in keeping with the old-fashioned approach, it will use that somewhat antiquated device known as third-person narration. It won't use coloured text, either, or be written in iambic trimeter. Sorry.

The Danger Within may well be a total mess. But if it's a total mess that gets me writing again and leads to my producing something down the road that's not a total disaster, I think it will be a decent trade-off.


  1. Yes! What the world needs is more Adventure! With Ponies!

    Oddly enough, I found and watched The Box of Delights on YouTube last year. I really enjoy "cozy" fantasies of that sort. I wish the Beeb would do some Diana Wynne Jones stuff.

    1. The first chapter will be up in the next couple of days. Even if it gets ripped to shreds, I'm still going to push on. Simply writing a thousand words of the same thing is enough of a triumph for me at the moment!

      BBC children's TV is not what it was, unfortunately, not least in terms of budget: it may not look it now, but TBoD was really high-budget by 1984 standards. I'm not sure there's been a truly great series since the adaptation of The Borrowers in the 1990s, though I do have hopes for next Christmas's Watership Down co-production with Netflix.

  2. "...next Christmas's Watership Down co-production with Netflix."

    What?! Holy carp, I hadn't heard of that!

    1. They haven't exactly been shouting about it, but here's an article from The Bookseller magazine about tie-in deals: