Mare Do Well Beyond (working title?)

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Mare Do Well Beyond (working title?)

Post  Kaijyuu on Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:36 pm

Okay, I finally did it. Finished a first draft and looked over it a few times. Here we go:




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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1poOPZvAPdGPztn-12HCaV9uKuQBYZgSf_184aw1eCdc/edit



Yep, it's a Batman crossover. I expect there exists a few dozen of these already, but my hook is that I'm crossing over the cyberpunk incarnation instead. This means futuristic equipment, mad scientists, towering skyscrapers, laser beams, all that good stuff. It's a thematic crossover, so you won't see any Batman characters, and save for a few exceptions you won't see pony expies of them either.

The two main characters are Twilight and Terri (name pending; might make it more pony), an OC based on the main character from Batman Beyond. She's not a complete expy/gender flip though; to be honest she's more like Rainbow Dash, someone I've had trouble differentiating her from (thought I DO want some similarity).



Of note, this is the first fanfiction I've written, probably the biggest thing I've ever written (15500 words), and my writing experience is mostly limited to a single creative writing class from back in high school. Also, I rarely actually read fanfiction myself, so I have almost no metric on which to judge things like length and format. Please take all that into consideration when judging this. I'm a noob, so please, PLEASE... burn it to the fucking ground. If you would be so kind, nitpick it until it's a mutilated corpse lying at my feet. I don't mind praise, and I'd love to hear what I'm doing right so I can expand upon that, but I'm just as if not more interested in knowing what I need to improve upon (and especially how).


Few things of note:

- I may cut out the prologue entirely. It's not really needed. It's there to give some contrast to the more cynical future Equestria, and also some foreshadowing (especially for the suit's gadgets). I also wanted to start on an exciting note but...
- I'm not too confident about the fight scenes. There's gonna be a lot of them, this being a friggin batman crossover, so I need those to be rock solid, interesting, and fun to read. Any suggestions you can make to make those scenes more engaging would be wonderful. I'm especially nervous about the fight where Twilight is introduced, since except for the end, it's the longest and most important one.
- The overall plot here is almost a direct rip from the first two episodes of Batman Beyond. I'm not sure how taboo that is in fanfiction circles concerning crossovers. Now, the details are completely different -- I did in fact write a story of my own-- but the flow is similar and some of the scenes will give deja-vu. If you want, you can watch them free here (and the rest of season 1) and judge for yourself if they're too similar.
- Length. I'm serious when I say I have no fucking clue if this is too long or not. It certainly seems long at over 15000 words, but maybe the style I'm using works for that? I don't know. Future chapters, should I write them, will be much shorter; less characters to introduce and whatnot.
- I doubt ya'll want to be my personal editors, so, directing me to any fanfiction circles where I can get more feedback would be great. Like I said, I'm completely out of the fanfiction loop and haven't a clue what I'm doing.



Here's some meta stuff if you want to get a feel of what I'm trying for. Anything here is subject to change, but it's my initial vision and whatnot. If you would, please read it after you've read the fic above.
Spoiler:

I've had this story bouncing around in my head for a while, but this song is what inspired the main themes I want to go for:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwsc5wbzgoQ

Now the finished story has nothing to do with Derpy or Dinky, but I liked these lines:

Give me eyes to see
The world for what it is

Terri's big flaw and character growth should be centered around her being a short sighted, self centered teenager. She's stuck in her own little world, unable to see anything outside of what concerns her and her only. I want her to be convincingly shaken out of that and forced to "see the world for what it is" -- a dark and cynical world, at that.

One eye to watch for danger
One eye to see you grow

Mare Do Well's purpose is to protect Equestria and help it grow back into what it once was, despite the advances in technology, industrialism, capitalism, etc. Basically the same as Batman with hopefully some idealistic (and pony!) twists. Unlike Batman though, there won't be a "do not kill" rule (there wasn't really in Batman Beyond either). Mare Do Well will be a bit more pragmatic than that, hopefully.


As for Twilight, she's old, cynical, and snarky as ever. Definitely want to make her an insufferable genius, and an old cranky one at that. Her growth should be breaking out of her shell again, though it's a different shell this time.


For further meta background stuff:
- If it's not obvious, I'm using everything I hate that season 2 introduced and trying to do it "right." Mare Do Well and technology, mostly.
- The time skip is roughly 60-80 years. The mane 6 are old enough to retire, though the younger characters like the CMC still have jobs.
- Luna now rules Equestria for mostly thematic reasons. Plus, Celestia's too competent to allow it to decay like that, so I had to get rid of her. And no, Celestia's not dead; she's just put on a bus. Maybe literally, given the setting. No clue where Cadence will fit in, if at all.
- Dunno what I'll do with most of the mane 6. Twilight's place is obviously decided, and I've an idea for Applejack, but the rest... /shrug. I might show what happened to them down the line, if I write more. They definitely split up, but I don't want to focus on that.
- I didn't use Diamond Tiara and instead gave her a daughter since I didn't want to turn a canon character into a complete monster. Though after seeing the latest episode, she probably would've fit... Oh well~
- Future chapters, should I write them, will be a hell of a lot less serious with wacky superpowered villains and whatnot. I just wanted a solid base to start with.
- Don't really have an ending planned, and hope never to. I want individual chapters to stand on their own with only light continuity.



PS:
NobodyPro wrote:Tell you what Kaijyuu, if you write something I will too.

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Re: Mare Do Well Beyond (working title?)

Post  Flying Dice on Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:44 pm

Okay, I've got an open afternoon today. I'm going to avoid reading anything this morning so I'll be fresh for an OCD run. As a personal note, if you manage to capture the feel of Batman: Beyond, I will love you forever.

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Re: Mare Do Well Beyond (working title?)

Post  Kaijyuu on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:01 pm

I've got a friend going through it right now, pointing out all the problems with changing tense/etc mid sentence, so if ya'll read or have read the current version, nitpicks along those lines have been covered. My head apparently thinks commas can change proper sentence flow.


Also started next part, which IMO is 100x better so far. Probably because I'm finally doing what I wanted in the first place (wacky villains). Dunno how long that will take since I'm not quite sure how to end it...

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Re: Mare Do Well Beyond (working title?)

Post  Kaijyuu on Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:20 pm

Double post!

Got that criticism done by a friend and holy crap I suck at grammar and staying in the "show don't tell" mindset. Not sure I want to go back and fix everything since I'm pretty lukewarm to the whole thing, plus I've been considering just starting in medias res instead anyway; this next part might become the "first chapter."

I'd started this part before, but I restarted with the criticisms of my first one in mind.


Here's the starting scene. It's really short, unlike before. So short in fact I'm putting it in a spoiler! This way you don't have to read a 45 minute fic full of problems (maybe a 4 minute fic full of problems). Please point out any technical or pacing issues; I think the end might be too sudden. And no, you don't need any knowledge from the first part.

Spoiler:
Pen Pusher sat at his desk, like he did every day, monitoring the lab equipment. He didn't much like it down here in the basement of Sweet Apple Corp, what with the dank, musty air and flickering lights. He had the title of scientist, yes, but only the lab coat draped over his shoulders fit what he had hoped for in the job. Instead of performing experiments, his routine consisted of keeping inventory and making sure the equipment was in order. He sat at the bottom of the ladder; a nopony, not worth anyone's time.

His unicorn horn aglow, Pen Pusher continued his work while lost in thought. Boredom wasn't the only thing he hated about this place. He could only cringe while thinking back about the events of the day: his boss and CEO of Sweet Apple Corp, Golden Tiara, had paid the lab a visit. The arrogant pony had strode down here yet again, demanding progress, and today's rant was especially full of vitriol. Pen Pusher's team was researching a cure for her condition, and that fact certainly didn't make her more patient.

What really annoyed Pen Pusher though, was Golden Tiara had no respect for science. She seemed to think they could cook up a cure under a day. Taking the time and doing the research properly were things Pen Pusher respected, but she would have none of it. It was true, Pen Pusher thought, that they had made almost no progress with the test subject in the past week, but you had to find wrong answers before finding the right ones.

Oh yes, Pen Pusher thought to himself with a smile. The test subject pony. Twisting his chair around, he looked over at the glass tube in the center of the room. There she was, hovering inside a stasis chamber. She had been unconscious since she was brought in, never smiling, never even opening her eyes... but something about that mare always brightened Pen Pusher's day. Standing up with his work forgotten, Pen Pusher started striding toward her. So beautiful, he thought to himself. Her purple curly mane and soft pink coat. Those cute little pegasus wings. What he would do to just see her smile.

Reaching the chamber, Pen Pusher adjusted his glasses and stared up at her. They had never told him her name, and he never dared ask. He knew nopony would understand if he told them what he thought of her. Often, he had tried to devise an antidote himself, but none of the other scientists would listen to his ideas. Get back to work, they said. Clean up the lab and let the real scientists do their job, they said. Frustrated, Pen Pusher wondered why they wouldn't even let him try. Why he couldn't just take some lab materials, mix up his own antidote, and...

A thought occurred to him. Certainly they'd see past one little unauthorized experiment if it worked. Golden Tiara would thank him personally... or at least not yell at him, and he might even get a promotion. This might be his one chance to prove himself to be an actual scientist. And not only that... The pony hovering before him, which he felt so much for, would be free. He'd finally be able to see her smile. He'd finally know whether she could feel for him what he felt for her, and oh how he hoped she could.

His task set before him, Pen Pusher returned to his desk. There wasn't much time before his shift ended, and other ponies might get suspicious if he stayed too long. Sitting back down, he hurriedly brought his notes up on the computer. All the data he needed was there; what had been effective previously, what composed the toxin that nearly killed her in the first place... So far the other scientists had only been able to stabilize her, but now he hoped to cure her completely. Confidence, he thought. He just had to believe in himself and take a chance.

The lab had all the equipment and ingredients he needed. Slowly he mixed and heated the potion, carefully ensuring everything was precisely measured. He had been planning this potion for weeks, going over every detail; it had to work.
Moments later, Pen Pusher had a completed potion in front of him. Shaking slightly with anticipation, he corked the glass vial and carried it with him toward the stasis chamber. All he had to do was gently lower her to the ground, administer orally, and..

Pen Pusher's eyes opened wide and the vial dropped to the ground, shattering on the floor. The pony inside looked down at him, her eyes open. She was awake! Nervously he moved forward, putting a hoof on the glass. He stared up into her eyes, and she into his, and finally she smiled down at him. It was a warm smile. He smiled back, unsure of what to say.

Suddenly Pen Pusher felt a shock as lighting arced from the mechanics at the bottom of the stasis chamber. Knocked back, he hit the ground hard and felt his glasses fly from his face. Groaning in pain, he turned his head to see the glass tube shatter violently. Still looking down at him, the last thing he saw before the lights blinked out was her smile.


890 words; I expect a finished chapter to be ~4500. Much more manageable.


EDIT: Actually found a neat thread on Bay12; see if they can give me technical advice. Like I said in my first post, I don't expect ya'll to be my editors, so I'll be back with a full chapter 1/2/whatever in a couple days, methinks.

EDITEDIT: And bay12 comes to my rescue with criticisms! unlike you bastards Decided to just rewrite the first part (and split it into two chapters) rather than go back and try to surgically alter it.

Side note: Biggest source of inspiration currently is this:

If someone calls my fic "horribly cliche" I will leap with joy, since that's what I'm going for. Cliches are cliches because once upon a time they worked, and then people overused them. I want to smash your skull in with them so hard you see rolling tumbleweeds and stupid one liners in your dreams.

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Re: Mare Do Well Beyond (working title?)

Post  Kaijyuu on Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:43 am

Need advice.


What the hell do you call this?
Spoiler:



And looking through them, from batman:

I've been calling the eye thingies a "visor," but someone misinterpreted it as a sort of power ranger hat or one of those pilot helmets with the pull down visor. It's important to mention since that's how Twilight sees what Terri sees.

Would there be a better term for it, or should I just stick with what I'm using?



And I'm allowed to triple post in my own thread.

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Re: Mare Do Well Beyond (working title?)

Post  Slag on Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:43 pm

The closest piece of real-life wear would be goggles, honestly, but that word doesn't seem to give off the best vibe. I'd personally go with lenses. It's not necessarily the best way to describe it, but it's simple enough to be practical and close enough to be roughly understood.

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