Friday, October 5, 2012

Lamia's Diary of a Ruler

More Celestia! She's a fascinating character, really; what would an immortal's daily diary look like?

[Slice-of-Life] • 28,600 words
My name is Celestia. This is a kind of log, an epistolary detailing various portions of my experiences throughout my long life, and several analytical reflections that come to mind at times. Most importantly, it is a collection of personal thoughts as I struggle through my eternal life's hardships.

Now that my purpose has been discovered, I have decided to share these entries with everypony here; perhaps my own shared introspection over my lifetime could provide an alternative way of thinking to some. If not, then I hope I did not bore you. I realize much of it is pointless rambling, but I have chosen several entries that I believe may be of interest.

Enjoy, if you like.

Hit the break for a few words from Lamia, and links to Diary of a Ruler out around the ponynet. Don't forget to grab an ebook copy over at the Downloads page!

Where do you live?

In the St. Louis area of Missouri. The place I'm around is steadily growing out of being semi-rural, which is beginning to bug me. Also, I wouldn't recommend moving here.

What kind of work do you do? (i.e. are you a student, do you have a career/day job, etc)

Nothing currently.

How did you discover My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? When did you realize you were a fan of the show?

I discovered it from some overzealous friends poking me to go watch it, like just about everypony else these days. It didn't stick with me for a while, but at some point, around when I started drawing ponies, I began to really get into it. I follow the show pretty religiously now, anxiously awaiting when the next episode will air, hopefully wishing for my favorite ponies to show up.

Do you have a favorite episode?

Pretty much any episode centered around the Cutie Mark Crusaders. They're easily the most adorable to watch. I can't really choose between any single episode involving them, either; it's far too difficult. I really enjoy watching them explore and discover, it reminds me of when I was little, including how much of a dunce I was about some things.

Who is your favorite character based purely on the canon of the show itself? Would your answer change if you considered the fandom in its entirety (i.e. art, fanfiction, memes, etc)?

Apple Bloom is best pony.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

Lamia is an OC of mine that predates Friendship is Magic. I didn't feel like using my previous moniker at the time, one I used to identify myself within the furry fandom. I assure you that it isn't serpent-girl related, since I know everyone asks.

Have you written in other capacities (other fandoms, professionally, etc)? When did you first start writing?

I never wrote anything before ponies, nothing that I would consider actual writing, anyway. The first thing I wrote was something awful as practically a joke. That came around about the end of January, but the first serious one started in February. Since then, I've been trying to do more, but I've found it is a surprising amount of work to even write a short story.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Hobbies include nothing spectacular. I'd write them here, but they are so generic they're not even worth it, although the biggest hobby that I have is probably drawing.

Who is your favorite author (published or fanfiction)? Do you have a favorite story or novel?

Frankly, I'm afraid I don't read that much. I just draw mostly and then write on occasion. I can't really say that I have ever enjoyed a story well enough to call it my ‘favorite' story, sorry to disappoint!

Stephen King believes that every author has an "ideal reader" - the one person who they write for, the one person whose reactions they care about. Do you have one, and if so, who is it?

The entire fandom. It's a bit of hopeless wishing, but I want to be able to seen and recognized amongst the masses. I value every favorite, every comment, even every single view on all of my works, and not just written; I want to leave my mark in a way that people will do so. I may be pandering to the common brony at times, which may be eyeroll-worthy in its creativity (or lack thereof), but I try to keep everything I do from being something I can't be proud of. This applies to any artistic medium I participate in.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers, or writers who are struggling with their own stories?

- Don't force a scene or story to play out the way you want it to. Scenes should play out on their own in your head as you write; it's where the whole thing about stories writing themselves came about. You'd be surprised how easily they do, if you have characters developed well enough to feel and act as them and write it.
- If two characters are in casual conversation, their language needs to reflect it. No one talks in flowery language casually. Similarly, spelling out verbal tics (such as Applejack's "I") is likely not a good idea in the long run.
- Don't spend a paragraph's worth in sentences describing the environment. Too much of it can make the pacing of the current scene uneven, and it can be disorienting to the reader.
- Don't write Human in Equestria. There is far too much already and there is little to nothing that can be gained from it.

What is your typical writing process? (Do you work through multiple drafts, do you have any prereaders/editors, etc?)

I work out major plot points in the story from beginning to end, and important scenes involving such. Beyond that, I completely wing it and let the story run on its own. It all works out in the end. I don't actually have any prereaders/editors that would judge my material if I ask, though.

What inspired you to write Diary of a Ruler?

The story was originally based off my own diary: experiences throughout my days giving me insight into various subjects from the seemingly mundane to the supernatural. I figured that it could work with the goddess-fanon that commonly encompasses Celestia. More or less, her views on what she went over are reflective of mine, as self-indulgent as that sounds. Still, I do hope that I make others think a bit.

Did you run into any tough spots or challenges when writing Diary of a Ruler?

Filler. The story would have ended far too quickly, and I ended up running out of subjects and events for Celestia to go over. I still feel it could have had a bit more. Other than that, I was able to write the entries smoothly once I got going, since I identify with her as the character within the diary.

When you set out to write Diary of a Ruler, did you have any specific messages or themes in mind?

Immortality is never what it's cracked up to be. Her long life changed her emotions in a way that gave diminishing returns, and she paid the price for it. I know that it's all been written about with the princesses or even others countless times, but I just wanted to give my own take, through the eyes, or diary entries, of one. There are other messages within the story, although they're a bit too complex to explain in just a few words.

Where can readers drop you a line?

I'm the most active on DeviantArt. My gallery is located at

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Writing an epistolary such as Diary of a Ruler is tricky to do. For a written work in a diary format or something similar, making a chapter/entry too long will be unrealistic. Similarly, each one needs to be written in a way that time passes between each. You need to be able to reference the passage of time in the experiences they have had, their emotions at the point of writing, and what they are writing about in that entry; in essence, you have to find a way to make their seemingly small number of words be worth thousands, in order to connect with them and know how they're thinking. That's how I personally see it, anyway. Maybe it'll help work for you if you think of it in that way.

Thanks for reading and having interest in my story. I hope you enjoy.

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