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Found 183 results

  1. I got my first GIMP Photo done last night, as a test for getting used to the tools and such. I do terribly need some Criticism though, it just feel like there's something wrong in my photos, or that I need to do better . Help, tips, advice, tricks, anything of the like would help me a great deal if anypony could be so willingly to. (Made this in an hour with a mouse)
  2. Sometimes less is more. A proper description in the right spot can help make a story. Too much description, however, can cost you. Oddly enough, it can really cost you in a horror story. The trap beginners fall into is the idea that gore = fear. That’s not necessarily true. The right amount of blood, the right amount of description, and the right amount of direct action can make a horror story. The wrong amount can leave you with something like Jeff the Killer. Why does less tend to be more in a horror story? Well, the reason boils down to the psyche of the person. Meaning derived is meaning described. For the average person, the things the mind comes up with tend to be scarier than whatever you actively describe. Consider, for instance, the famous shower scene of Psycho. Each shot is deliberately cut such that we rarely, if at all, see the victim being stabbed: Additionally, there’s far less blood here. This has the effect of keeping us in the dark as to the extent of the injuries. Less blood can bring us more alarm. Too much blood and too much gore, however, has the opposite effect. Take a story like Jeff the Killer. You get more a feel of something written by an edgy 12-year old. The story becomes satire and loses its horror element. It becomes something that you may fear or take seriously as a child but does not age. As a writer, you’re constantly striving for what you can’t quite achieve: ageless. In many cases, the less blood and gore you use, the better off you’re going to be. The exception tends to be satire. Generally speaking, using less blood is better enjoyed because blood has become almost a cliche these days. This by no means is to say you should never use a drop of the stuff. But toe the line. It will help you greatly. Lay the ground work, but let your reader’s mind do the rest.
  3. Grammar is mad important and u need 2 tak it srsly cuz no1 wants 2 reed a story when it looks like dis. We’ve talked about plot lines, we’ve talked about characterization, and we have talked about Writers Block. Now we should talk about the thing everyone loves to make fun of, and that’s grammar. You could have a great idea for a plot, but it means nothing if you can not convey it properly. If the plot is the life of everything you’re doing, the grammar is the frame work. It should not hurt my eyes to read what you’re writing. That means no walls of text (like above), proper spelling and punctuation, and the knowledge of how to write dialogue. That seems to be a main issue for a lot of new writers. It takes some getting used to but it is fairly straightforward. So let’s go over examples of how NOT to write dialogue: SCRIPTWRITING FORMAT A story is a story. A script is a script. There is no middle ground. Bob: I relli luv tis blog Bill: I h8 it it sux nd so duz the guy writing it Bob shoves Bill, Bill shoves Bob, and tempers rise. This is an excerpt from the story How To Lose A Reader In Three Lines. You will not get far with this format. It’s not the correct way to write dialogue and were you to use it in school or a major publication you would fail or be embarrassed. This is not even the correct scriptwriting format either, poor grammar aside. SENTENCE FRAGMENTS AND RUN-ONS “I really love apples” said ted “That nice but we should see other people” said teds friend apples We’re getting closer now. We see some quotation marks which is a good sign, but we are still missing a few fairly important punctuation marks. As is we have run on sentences galore. These become confusing and annoying. Sooner or later your reader may throw in the towel here, but you will probably get a few pointers from some critics which will be good. ”I did not hit her. It’s not true. It’s bulls%#@! I did not hit her! I did not! Oh, hi Mark.” said Johnny. ”Oh hey Johnny, what’s happening?” asked Mark. We almost have it. Here we see much better grammar for the most part but we still have a few mistakes. First of all, you don’t censor or bleep out a curse word in a story. It’s not reality tv. Just write out the fucking thing you’re trying to say. Second is one of the most common errors I see in dialogue: the period ending a character’s spoken words. “Oh hi Mark.” said Johnny. Here we have two incomplete thoughts thanks to the period in the middle: ‘Oh hi Mark’ and ‘said Johnny’. To fix this is simple: replace the period with a comma: ”Oh hi Mark,” said Johnny. The comma tells us to pause a moment but not for a full stop like a period. Therefore we have a complete thought. But what about Mark’s response? He got it right. There’s nothing wrong there. The question mark is excused because we need it to help understand that the statement is really a question. THE WRITE WAY “Oh my God!” exclaimed Malory. “What shade is that?” ”You have metal shards in your hand and you’re gushing arterial blood. I’m the only guy here who can save your hand, and probably your life,” said Michael. ”I like you just the way you are.” ”Did you know that the foam remembers me?” asked Tobias. “That’s why they call it ‘memory foam!’” If you’re not sure of how to proceed, look at a book you may have lying around. Otherwise, these will usually get you through what you’re trying to write. A well polished story always looks nicer than a story that forsakes grammar and spelling.
  4. Who could ever forget writers block? It’s the unseen phantom that plagues us as writers and drains us of our ability to progress our stories because we can’t think of how to proceed. It’s a real story killer that has ended more than a few really promising works of fiction. It’s just too bad writers block does not exist. What do I mean by that? Well, is there really a faceless phantom out there actively hunting down writers and keeping them from proceeding with a story? No, of course not! It’s a state of mind. It’s self defeat. It’s boredom and disinterest all rolled into one. Writers block is procrastination. That’s all it ever was and all it ever will be. The problem is, most people do not like to admit that they procrastinate. We are all guilty of it from time to time. Writers especially tend not to like admitting they are procrastinating because it adds pressure. They begin to jump down their own throats by telling themselves those who read their work are waiting and they wind up tapping themselves out. So they say they’re having trouble coming up with more to write. This turns into a hiatus more often than not. Usually this type of hiatus is followed with the writer promising he or she will not let the story go unfinished. “I will come back to it. I promise. I will not let this story go until I complete it!” When I see a promising writer go on hiatus and/or see a message like that, I don’t believe that the writer will come back. I am right almost every time, if you’ll pardon my cynical boasting. 8 times out of 10 they don’t return and the story remains unfinished. This is because procrastination gets harder to escape the longer you let it go on. 1 time out of 10 you WILL hear from the hiatus writer again in the form of an update. This update is usually just an apology message and a formal cancellation of said story. Every so often in lieu of a notification, the writer quietly deletes the story. Very rarely do people who go on these hiatuses return to complete the work. Those that do are the disciplined ones who recognize that there really was nothing stopping them from continuing their work. So is there a way to prevent procrastination? Well, yes and no. You can make things become part of a routine. If you make a goal for yourself, the story as a whole becomes less looming. Outline the plot of your story first so you know what to do in which chapter. Maybe make yourself a goal based on word count: 1000 words per day, 500 words per day... even 100 if you’re really struggling and then just build up over time. If you outline your story and set goals for yourself “Writers block” is no excuse. Does every hiatus mean procrastination? Of course not. Your life comes first and you never know what will happen. Be it an illness or death, vacation or celebration, some things pull you away from the keyboard or paper longer than you would like. In those cases make sure you outlined the story so you can get back in as soon as you’re able. Finally, the cure for writers block. I’ve found it, you guys. I had to go through a jungle, over the sea, through a swamp and I had to ride through a desert on a horse with no name but six warrants in three different countries. But damn it I found the cure! All you have to do is take a glass of cold water, and drink it. Then, go sit down and write. Force it if you have to. It doesn’t sound much fun does it? Well, when you’re writing through procrastination it isn’t fun. You’re going to keep looking back and you will want to redo what you have written. Nothing will be good enough. Fortunately that’s why you re read your draft three times before you do anything with it. Don’t get into your own head. Just let the words flow and when it’s time to reread you can make corrections along the way. The only way to beat “writers block” is to just write. Everyone procrastinates every now and again, but it does not have to define you. Work through it and don’t let your work fall into the graveyard of unfinished stories.
  5. Hi there! I've noticed that some MLP fanfictions make the ponies sound like parodies of themselves and I want to avoid that, but I'd like some advice. Does Rainbow Dash really say, "20% cooler" a lot? I know she talks about things being cool/awesome/radical (and maintains that those concepts are different, LOL ), but I only recall her saying that something was "20% cooler" once. People often write the Apples' dialogue with a phonetic accent (writing "Ah" instead of "I" for example). I find that tough to read, so I don't do it (and I can easily imagine their voices easily), but what are your thoughts? Also, what sort of exclamations does she use? People seem to write Luna's dialogue as though she speaks in the Royal Canterlot Voice all the time, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't. I haven't paid much attention, but does she ever speak in the Royal Canterlot Voice? Does she ever use Shakespearean even when speaking at a normal volume? I noticed that Rarity seems to be quite affectionate in her language (she says, "Fluttershy, sweetness, come down from there" in "Bats!" and "We're not going to judge you, darling" in "The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows" for example). How do I write that without making it seem like I'm making fun of her? Also, how do I write scenes where she's being dramatic without making it seem like a parody?
  6. Ok, folks, I need your advice. I pre-ordered Cyberpunk 2077 collector's edition to do an unboxing/review, but I don't have a camera with which to record. Any advice on video cameras (not webcams) that would be good for something like this and won't wipe my bank account? I've got till April to get one(preferably a week before April so I have time to get used to it) so, there's no rush. Thank you for your input.
  7. If the plot is the thing you are writing for, your characters are some of your main driving forces to achieve your goal. It’s impossible to write a story without at least one character, as a first person or omnipotent narrator can be considered a character themselves. A plot-line often uses the characters in its universe to tell its story. We see the story unfold with them, for them, through them, and at their expense. Whatever must be done must be done to tell your story. There is very little middle ground. A common error in characterization is the failure to admit fault or weaknesses. Nobody likes to acknowledge their flaws, and nobody really likes writing a flawed character. However, flaws are generally what makes your character “alive” to the reader. Nobody is perfect, therefore we often relate more to an imperfect character than a perfect one. We refer to characters without weakness who are seemingly perfect in every regard as “Mary Sues” or “Gary Stus.” These types of characters are rarely ever taken seriously and if you’re writing a story that demands to be taken seriously, you will fail. A Mary Sue can, however, be used well in certain circumstances. For instance, in a satire or a comedy, these characters can earn many a laugh because the reader does not take them seriously. They are parodies of themselves, and that makes them work in comedic storytelling. A well rounded character is one with a back story, a personality, strengths and weaknesses. A character should generally not have a horrific depressing back story because it gets in the way of the narrative and defines it. Unless that is the intention, I would stay away from it. Characters designed to gain sympathy from other characters or the readers tend to be banal, and the opposite tends to happen. Instead of loving and feeling sympathy for these characters, we feel no connection whatsoever. We don’t feel connected to the character, and therefore do not have an investment in this storyline. I call overly negative characterization the “Bleeding Heart Effect”. It is okay to have a few bad things happen in the backstory. It is okay to have some really bad things happen. Be sure to balance them out with some positives too. Hell, make the character a go lucky person, even in the face of negativity. You can earn a strong connection to the character that way. It’s a gamble to treat them like your friends or family. I generally recommend you do not. They are tools meant to be used and discarded when they are no longer useful. There are a few reasons why: First of all, when you form an attachment to your character, you’re going to want them to be great. You won’t want them to have weaknesses and you will desire for your readers to see them in the same light. Ironically, getting the reader to see your character that way works better when you treat said characters as pawns. An undisciplined or new writer will tend to turn these characters into author’s pets. Nobody likes those. Another issue is this: Your character is only important until the plot dictates otherwise. If the plot demands your character die, you’re going to have to take it behind the barn. This is where the gamble comes into play: When you are attached to the character and love it and you’re going to have to kill it, one of a few things will happen: If you’re well disciplined and will do what you have to do even with the attachment, then the character dies and you channel the emotions you’re going to feel into the narrative. This allows a greater impact on the reader, because they can feel what you are feeling. However, you’re probably going to feel like crap for a while. If you are NOT willing to kill your character if the plot dictates it, you’re going to go to great lengths to find a loop hole. Sometimes you will succeed but at great cost to the plot; you may have to completely revamp the narrative so that this can happen, or you’ll find something that you think works, but it ruins the flow of the story. So you wind up with the character intact but the plot either changed or no longer possible to achieve. The best thing, therefore, is to consider a character nothing more than a tool meant to forward the story. It still might suck to kill someone off, but it’s not as bad and you avoid a lot of problems in the long run. As always, take this with a grain of salt. Maybe it helps you, maybe not. Respect your character as much as is needed, but do not confuse respect with love.
  8. We so often see "things I'd tell my younger self" type posts ... but what would you tell your older self? What wisdom do you have right here and now that your future self might need?
  9. Well, because Micro$oft's updates to their OS has completely broken numerous features and apps on my computer - including Grammarly and the brilliant advice Microsoft's help center gave me was that they couldn't help, so I should contact their help center instead (and yes, a real human being told me this), and because I've got too much money/info wrapped up in Microsoft to go through the trouble of reformatting my current PC, I now have to get a laptop. I'm not looking for a monster or anything, just one about $200 give or take that uses ANY OTHER OS THAN WINDOWS and is reliable. Any tips or advice (like an Amazon link to a good one) that any of you can provide would be HUGELY appreciated. Thank you.
  10. I'll undertake this noble task so go ahead,your questions ask be it advice or anything at all Zecora will be answering the call
  11. I'm working on writing my own story for my OC and his adventures in equestria and in the future when he does from present equestria. I've been busy with recording if walkthroughs and drawing pictures and all, that I don't get around to it. Even if I sit down to relax and Have the time to take care of it. Does anypony have advice on this?
  12. Basically, I have a cold and I am not sure how to help myself. So I suppose I will ask you folks. ... How do you guys help a sore throat?
  13. Fanfiction is one of the backbones of just about any fandom, but sorting through it all can be a freaking nightmare! Bronies have a well-organized and dedicated site in FimFiction, but most other fandoms aren't so lucky. Everything is crammed into just two sites really (fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own), and navigating them can be a chore. First, 99% of what you find is GOING to be yaoi; great if that's your thing, annoying to slog through if not. Then there are the innumerable bad crossover fics, dark fics, self-inserts, etc. All can and HAVE been done very well in the past, but most of what you'll find isn't really up to an avid reader's standards. Unfortunately, ordering by popularity is rarely a good option, as you'll inevitably find that being "popular" doesn't necessarily mean "well written". You can check the TVtropes fanfic recommendation pages and occasionally turn out something you'll like, but those usually very limited and skip a lot of great stuff. You can ask a friend who's an avid fanfic reader for suggestions, but we don't all have those. You can try checking the fanfic-talk threads on the SpaceBattle or other large forums, but some of those are thousands of pages long and super intimidating for a newbie. Worst case scenario, you end up just reading bits of various stories to see if they appeal to you, but that means countless hours of reading stuff that you'll mostly end up dismissing (and even if you find something interesting, a good start doesn't necessarily equal a good story). I'm honestly out of ideas myself. If I want to find a good "Kingdom Hearts" or "My Hero Academia" story, I look at the sheer volume of what's available, get intimidated, and give up almost immediately. I've gotten too used to just having popular fics pop up in a neat sidebar for me and sorting through just a few new stories each day, and can't bring myself to spend an afternoon searching a massive archive for a single story to entertain me. So, what do YOU do when you're searching for something to read? Is there a place you go to get recommendations? A method you use to help make browsing more effective? A special site you visit? I'm eager to hear what you have to say! P.S. Please note that I'm not dumping on "bad" fanfictions here; just pointing out that there are a lot of readers who are very picky, either due to limited interests or high standards.
  14. It's simple really, I've been hearing more and more about the digital distribution site GoG (which is apparently owned by CD Project Red from what I understand of it) and I want to know if anyone else here is familiar with it and if so, what your opinion of the site is. Is it any better than Steam?
  15. what the title says, basically. i'm running low on harddrive space, and i have a whole new year ahead of me to get more music in. and since i have a bit of money to spend now, i'm thinking about getting an additional external harddrive. the plan is, i've had my WD 1TB drive for roughly a year now, and it's starting to get full (hell, basically is). so i'm planning to get a harddrive that's a step up in storage size, i.e. 2TB. when getting it, i'll copy everything on my old drive into it, so i then have 2 copies of all my stuff. by doing that, i can let my old drive rest as a backup drive, and use the remaining roughly 1 TB of space on my new drive for this coming year. i think it's a solid way to go through with, but if you have any better idea yourself, feel free to tell me. anyway, here comes the problem; i don't know what drive to get. i've been looking at several different drives, and looked at reviews of drives failing to work properly, or dying early, so i'm struck with a bit of paranoia, you could say. i've looked at Seagate, Western Digital, and Verbatim drives, respectively. so far i seem to have my eyes on the WD My Book drive that's at 2 TB. i was earlier set on the 2 TB Elements drive, but i've heard bad things about it (though my current drive is a 1TB Elements drive and it has worked perfectly upon constant usage. even my brother's drive, which he has misused quite a bit, is working properly). so basically, i'm looking at either a WD My Book drive, a Seagate drive, or a Verbatim drive, but i can't decide which one's the best to use (i might have to mention, i plan to use the drive mostly for streaming audio, so it'll be used quite a bit. my current one is of the same idea). any help is greatly appreciated.
  16. Hey there! It's Bulldozerman again! Now, I'll be the first to admit it: I'm no real expert on RPG's or anything, although I have beaten a ton of them, from Final Fantasy to Golden Sun, and even Lunar. But I did want to come around here and give you guys a few helpful tips for how to stay alive in Maradice Isle: Dawn of Shadows, for you newbies. This is for those of you who haven't played a lot of RPG's. If your interested in RPG's and are looking for a good MLP-themed game that'll keep you busy for a while, or if you just want to cruise through the game and see the story, but not suffer through it, then this is where you need to be. THIS AIN'T YOUR GRANDDADDY'S FINAL FANTASY! Now, this isn't your standard RPG like the original Final Fantasy on NES. This is a series of mysteries you have to unlock. From the true reason why Strange Tidings went evil, to learning how Melody's parents met their untimely fate, and eventually, discover a way to save Strange Tidings from the evil that's holding him, something you have to do to secure the best ending. All of this takes time. You gotta explore the towns, you gotta talk to everypony around you, you've gotta read journals and the like, use magic to solve puzzles, and pick up clues along the way that'll help you get to the next part, and ultimately ( hopefully ) save the island from eternal evil. BE COMMITTED! You gotta be committed to play this game. This isn't some game of Pac-Man where your done in half an hour. This is saving Maradice Isle, and possibly the world, from eternal evil. And the Mane Six can only do so much to help you out ( if your interacting with them at all ). It takes time. There's levels to be grinded for, there's puzzles to solve, shrines to conquer, and monsters to destroy. So be ready for it. LEARN TO INSULT! From the very earliest of the games development, it was evident that one of the biggest skills you would learn is the ability to hurl insults at the screen. This game lends itself to the player screaming profanities and the like at the top of their lungs. I know, I know, cursing out the enemy isn't good sportsmanship, but believe me, when your walking through, say, a forest, and you get jumped by some monster from out of nowhere, and you know you can't run away from it, and your low on health, your going to want to let fly with a "Son of a Bugbear!!" Also, there's something really satisfying about killing the boss monster that's been keeping you from the next section of the game after about a couple hours, and ripping out a good ol' fashioned "TAKE THAT, YOU SCRUB!!" You feel really good about it. Some royal guard is keeping you from progressing, there's nothing wrong with letting loose with a "Hah! Royal guard? More like a royal pain in my flank!" That's alright! DON'T DROP YOUR GUARD! There is NEVER any downtime in this game, even in the towns. One of the very earliest bosses is going to take place in the dead center of Ponyville, so you can't afford to lower your guard and risk getting destroyed by something your not prepared for. Also, if you happen to come across any baddies that are lying around randomly as you explore the world map, don't take any chances. Walk up to them, and use one of your spells to take them out while they're snoozing. Those monsters are going to get up eventually, and you might be in trouble when they do. STAY HEALTHY! One important thing you need to learn is what spells your party has, and how you can effectively use them to dispatch the opposition. Like, for example, you don't want to use a spell that hits all the enemies for fighting a single powerful boss, but those kinds of spells are VERY effective for clearing out crowds of foes ( something that your sure to run into A LOT as you near the Changling Hive ). You gotta stay healthy, warrior! You don't want to be going into a battle, and start clicking on commands, and then realize "Oh, whoops! Now I gotta heal!" That's not good! If there's a brief pause in the action between battles, take the time to use healing items and spells to replenish your dwindling HP and MP reserves. Because believe me, NOTHING is worse then getting caught off-guard by something you didn't see coming. If you get into a fight like in the image here: Look at that. Your going to be trying to heal yourself on the fly in the middle of a battle, and that's a bad, BAD thing. If you got plenty of healing items in reserve, you can use those to quickly heal up your team, and be ready to fight off whatever comes your way next. Unless you got a Nature Pony. They're pretty much able to keep the party healthy on their own. SAVE OFTEN! Your going to be wanting to save the game constantly, or you'll have to go back to the beginning. Good times to save? You just got to a new town and got full health. Don't be saving when your party's only got, like, %10 health left and no healing items left. That does you no good unless your in a town, because your going to end up dying over and over, and then your stuck. You just got some new key item? You just reached a new town or settlement? You just met one of the games main characters? All of these little milestones, your going to want to constantly save. You make it out of a dungeon, save. It'll also give you a chance to rest your fingers, because BELIEVE ME, you will get a cramp! BE CREATIVE! Many items are hidden throughout the game environment. Your going to want to search every nook and cranny to see what items you can discover, because not all of the loot in a dungeon is going to be in super-obvious treasure chests, like most other RPG's. Also, if you just got whooped by some boss in the later parts of the game, you may want to consider changing up your strategy. With seven character classes to pick from at the start of the game for your four party members, you should be able to form a solid, consistent strategy for dealing with enemies. Like one example, a party with a Frost Pony, Ember Pony, Thunder Pony, and Nature Pony. Use the Frost Pony to buff your teammates defenses, use your Ember Pony and Thunder Pony to quickly take down the bosses health, and the Nature Pony can keep the party healthy turn after turn. If somepony runs low on MP, have your Frost Pony use an MP restoring item on them while the fighters continue to hit the boss. JOURNAL = GOLD! The journals are very important. These are something your going to want to watch out for constantly as you go through the game. A lot of times they're found in dungeons, and sometimes they're found close to boss chambers. The journals can give you tips and insight for how to tackle some of the games tougher enemies. Some of them even feature special dialog that can help you piece together some of the games more puzzling questions about the characters backstories. While your main goal is to, of course, stop Strange Tidings, remember that your also playing detective and trying to solve all these baffling puzzles that constantly loom over your entire quest, so your going to want to collect all the clues that you can. DON'T FOOL AROUND! If your engaged in a battle, don't just stand there and spam the "Fight" command over and over like an idiot! Your a deer in the headlights; They're just going to take you out. You can defend if your low on health. You can use "Super" attacks when your SP meter is full enough. You can use items. You can use the summons you find later on in your adventure. You have multiple options at your disposal for how to defeat the enemy and continue on with your adventure. Don't think that your Ember Pony is useless at magic just because his "ATTACK" stat is higher then his "POWER" stat. Many of the Ember Ponies spells revolve around using both magic and their own physical prowess to damage their foes. Also, I can't stress this enough: Pay attention to the descriptions of each of the seven classes at the start of the game! One of the keys to success in Dawn of Shadows is going to be recognizing each classes advantages, disadvantages, and how well they work with the other classes. Remember, you only have room for 4 characters in this game, so barring any duplicates of the same class, you can only take 4 of these 7 classes with you per playthrough, so you need to learn and understand what each class can do and form a solid, unique party that can overcome the games later challenges. The Frost, Ember, Thunder, and Nature Ponies are a good choice for beginners, as it's the most flexible and offers up the most options for offense, defense, and support. HAVE FUN! So, there's your little intro into what to expect from Maradice Isle: Dawn of Shadows. But listen: The only way to really learn how to play the game is to go and play it, assuming it's out yet ( which, as of the time I'm writing this, it's nowhere NEAR ready to come out yet ). And if it isn't, well, go play some other RPG's to help you get into the swing of how they're played and handled, and help you prepare for this game. Just remember to keep your eyes and ears open, and use your head, because your going to need strategy as well as skill if your going to make it back to Maradice Isle alive! So for now, goodbye, good luck, and try not to get yourself killed, will you?
  17. Hey. I have Adobe Animate and I wanna get into animation. My last foray into that was crap, but I want to improve. Does anybody have any advice going into this? Thanks!
  18. So here's how the game works. The first person (me) will ask for advice on any real or imagined problem (preferably not anything too personal or serious). It can be sort of serious or a bit silly, and it can be about anything that doesn't break the website's rules. Then, the next person responds with the absolute worst advice possible for that given scenario, along with a new problem for the next person to give badvice on. It goes on and on like that. First problem: I want to make a forum game thread, but I'm nervous that no one will like it. What do?
  19. How long has it been since I last even looked at this blog? Lol. Quite a while. Well, let's get to talking again. Something I've personally been struggling with for quite some time. Maybe you have been too? Have you ever felt like you were not good enough? Or just not even good enough for existence? That is a good question by the way? Why are we all here? So many answers that have already been brought up on this subject. Maybe you have been through something in your past. Maybe you've been told things that were negative about you for a long time. Have you maybe even ever hurt someone, like a family member, or a friend? Have you done it multiple times and maybe begin asking why? Maybe I'm just no good. People don't like me. I should shrink away from the world and just run. All I do is hurt people. I don't even like myself. Any of this sound familiar? It does to me. Stop it. Don't make me smack that hoof, hand, paw, whatever it is of yours. Listen. We are all going to screw up, some worse than others. Even things such as not being good at something that we love can trigger these kinds of thoughts. This has happened to me many times with my drawings. If I screwed up I was so quick to take that along with other missteps in my lifetime, as an excuse to place myself in such a low place that I felt there was no way that I could get back up. This is something that is especially dangerous for those who suffer with depression, like me. Listen. Let me just make a point on all this. I don't care what you did. I don't care how many people you may have made dislike you by doing whatever you did to them. I don't care how many mistakes you have made on things you love to do, then compound all this into thinking you must be a bad person and worthless to the world. Do me a favor. Put the world aside. Put everyone else aside, and look at yourself. What do you see? Are you broken, tired, what? As I stated in another entry of mine, you are not today, who you were yesterday. Take care of yourself. Stop worrying about what the world thinks you are. What are you in your eyes? Are you so bad just because of what you messed up in the past? Can you not just become a better person? Maybe you cannot get back the people you chased away back, but you can find new ones. Maybe one day, even if they don't come back, you can still show them you are not as bad as they think you are. Become your true self. Don't lie to others and yourself. You are you now. Let go of what made you so unhappy, and go forth to become greater. Go and be happy. I know this entry is quite a mixed bag, but I hope you can find something of it.
  20. To UK bronies, as any of you aged 15 or 16 know, we get our GCSE results tomorrow. How is everypony feeling? I'm just super anxious about Maths because I found the new specification really hard and the grade boundaries everyone is predicting on TSR sound quite high
  21. I really need some advice. My OC(profile pic)'s special talent is being really creative, just like me irl. Art/music/math/thinking/theorizing/solving, all that stuff is what I do best and what my friends and family know me for. So naturally my cutie mark would be a rainbow representing creativity, "thinking outside the box", and just being a little different from most people. But my problem is coming up with a name that doesn't sound mary-sue. I want it to go with my cutie mark. I thought of just naming my OC 'Creativity', but one of my friends thought that was "extremely lame"(they aren't a big MLP fan and are bad at coming up with names, so I don't know if they are a reliable source of feedback anyways). The name Creativity is similar to the name Rarity, so it could have a chance of being a pony name and it's not that mary-sure, but I don't know what else to name my OC. Would the name 'Creativity' be ironic because it's not creative...? For any name recommendations, it has to sound masculine or neutral. Thanks.
  22. ITT: We give advice to those planning on attending conventions. I'll start: Don't get drunk before visiting the vendors hall. I did and blew $500 on pic related.
  23. So I don't like to talk about myself too much but I would just like to share a story about the past year about my University experience in the hope that I can help out others who are also dealing with similar issues, mostly concerning self worth and seemingly hopeless situations. Long story short, first semester in University was very rough on me. I was freaking out about my marks, I was too shy to make any friends, my anxiety made it hard to calm down when I got home and at one point I passed out during class from stress. I felt like I was fighting a desperate war and losing terribly, I just could not seem to do anything about the situation and any attempt to make a major change just feel through the next day because I could not get the motivation to make any changes. I spent far too much time playing video games in an attempt to escape from all the stress but that just made things much worse. Semester 2 rolled around and I tried to make sure things would go well but the first few weeks went rough so I felt like the whole semester would go down just like the first one. It got so bad that I would end up crying in class multiple times a week because I felt everything was falling apart and there was nothing I could do about it. I then decided that it was really time to fix this mess so I went to a councler for help and stayed at school for up to 12 hours a day to study like my life depended on it. In the short run I felt good but after a few days I felt disparaged again because I could not finish my work even when I spent so much effort on it. In hindsight: studying for 10+ hours a day is very ineffective since you will become so tired that nothing you study will be retained and you will just wreak yourself for minimal gain. However, about 2 weeks ago something changed. I was up late watching videos of video games to try to calm myself down before I went to bed when in the comment section I heard somebody say that another YouTuber was having emotional issues so I went over to try to give some advice because for some reason I have a really strong drive to help out others who are going through stuff like that. In summary, he had a panic attack about stomach pain which caused him to freak out beyond beleaf for days on end. This kind of thing had happened to me years ago were I went nuts over not being able to sleep which caused me to panic and cry for hours on end. I basically told him that you will be OK so there is no need to worry about it, help is out there so nothing bad is going to happen to you. The comment got buried in the end so I doubt it helped in any way... at least it did not help the person it was intended for. This really stuck with me for the next few days, the fact that somebody just about fell apart over something that really was not a major issue at all. In the same period I got my last semesters marks back which I was neither happy nor sad about since I did not fail anything but they were lower then my high school marks so I was not happy about it. The wake up call however was when I got my Accounting midterm back. The mark was fairly lower then my normal high school marks so I was kind of annoyed at it. However, I soon found out that that "bad mark" was 22% above the class average and that it was the 4th highest out of a class of 40. I was almost in shock and for the first time that year I was overwhelmed with happiness instead of sadness and despair. I then started to realize that my other marks from last semester were not bad either after seeing how low some of the class averages were. Some of the marks that I saw as being sucky were also 10-20% above average in some cases. Yet all this time I had been telling myself that I was doing awfully academically and that I needed to improve. The fact that I could not bring my marks up in the past almost tore me apart coupled with the fact that I had no friends at all. My viewpoint was just so badly biased that I thought I was doing terribly when in fact I was still above average most of the time. This coupled with the YouTube incident changed my viewpoint right around. I thought I was fighting a desperate war and losing when in fact I was fighting a war and actually winning, HQ was just looking at the worst battles and not paying attention to the smashing victories that occurred much more often then the minor defeats. This sounds kind of silly but my obsession with military stuff makes me think up stuff like this all the time. Things were looking up already but this week my councler pointed out that my sleep schedule (which was in shambles) might be causing my lack of energy. He gave the excellent piece of advice that I really need to get up at the same time every day and I need to stop using screens an hour before I go to bed. I followed this and things improved almost imediently, getting up at a good time every day is absolutely key and having an inconsistent sleep schedule can make your body feel tired a lot since it is not sure when it will get the chance to get sleep next (at least that is what appeared to happen in my case). Probably the thing that made the biggest difference though was what I told myself. Before now I kept telling myself that I needed to work harder whenever I did not do something perfectly and that I needed to improve all the time since I am just not up to par with others. If I did something well then OK, that is good enough but you still have a mountain of other things you need to do better so get a move on! This does not help at all and just made me feel awful most of the time. These past few weeks however I have tried to tell myself that I can do it and that the situation is going well so even if I don't do excellently it is not the end. If I do something good I try to think of how great it is and get excited about it since it is proof that I am improving and succeeding after all. This week has been the best since I started University by far. I have been extremely motivated to get work done and have hardly even thought of playing video games since I have been so occupied with school work which I have now told myself is going well. If you think you are doing a good job at something then it is much easier to work on it so doing studying is bearable. My anxiety about school work has also calmed down so I can talk to people properly now without having to worry about school stuff all the time. I am just overall much more happy then before and I do not feel tired much anymore which also feels great. Overall, if you just feel totally useless or that things are just going up in flames just remember that we can be really negative about new situations sometimes. Never tell yourself that you are useless because that will not help anything and make you feel even worse. If things seem really bad then just look on the bright side as much as you can even if things appear bleak because sometimes our perspectives can just bend us towards irrational viewpoints. This may seem like common sense I suppose but for me anyways things have just improved so much because of this change in mind set. Very little has changed external situation wise but I feel like everything has changed internally which can make all the difference sometimes.
  24. Howdy, everypony! Anyway, I wanted to ask if anyone could give me their input on my OC, Cosmic Breeze. He has already been accepted in the EqE RP section, but I remember some people on the Discord chat saying that Cosmic Breeze sort have has two cutie marks. I'm not sure if it's how I described it, or if that actually is the case and I didn't realize. Any advice on that would be appreciated! The link to my OC is in my signature! And if there's any other advice for him, feel free to tell me! I love constructive criticism!
  25. Hello there! I'm Tealeaf, otherwise known as the artist EnigmaticWisp. I'm not a professional artist by any stretch of the imagination and I don't claim to be, but I have devoted a very large amount of time to character design and the mlp fandom as a whole. While I would love to be able to give just a general guideline for you all to utilize, I feel like sometimes a nice, personal approach can be more helpful. That's what I'm here to offer! You can ask me for advice on general stuff such as color schemes, names, or other aspects of the creating process, or you can feel free to just present your character for analysis. Whichever method is more comfortable for you is completely fine, but I do have a question for you to answer and a form for you to fill out so that I can assist a little bit easier. It's preferable if you have a visual reference, although not necessary. What specifically are you having difficulty with, or are you here purely out of curiosity? This will help me assess your design a little better, with a critique tailored a bit more to your needs. Once you've answered that question, please remember to feel out this form about your character to the best of your ability: Name- Personality- Bio- Appearance- Cutiemark- Don't worry if you couldn't fill it all out c: It's just basic stuff to get you started and help me with the criticism portion of this thread. Now that that's out of the way, allow me to help ease any concerns you might have by showing you some of my own old character designs (from oldest to newest), because I definitely wasn't always very good at the character creation process. Therefore, you don't need to be nervous about asking for help or opinions on a design for any reason, even if you aren't entirely comfortable with the artwork yet. This is the fastest, best way to improve c: Note- I will try to make your criticisms more in-depth and specific than what you see below. Alora and Eris I'm going to start with two of my oldest characters together. As you can see, their designs were both very complicated, but their flaws were more than just in their physical appearance. Alora represented life, and Eris represented death. They were very overpowered, unnecessarily so, and many aspects of their design were downright thoughtless. There cutiemarks were overly complex without having a clear symbolic meaning. In terms of mechanics, they technically weren't alicorns, but I gave them just as much if not more ability than the canon alicorns, which is a huge no-no, not only in terms of show accuracy, but also in terms of character development because it limits them from character growth. In the show, the only characters with genuinely powerful magic are characters who's talents revolve solely around magic, but I made two excessively powerful characters here without putting focus on that ability. They were literally just powerful for the sake of being powerful, and that's never a good thing. I don't think I need to explain in too much detail why their physical designs were poor. When designing, it's important to ask, "why?" It took me a while to let go of the weird horn shapes and unnecessary butt mark details. Stardust After Alora and Eris, I went through a few other characters such as an immensely powerful shadow alicorn and a half-dog grimdark unicorn thing, but I'm going to skip those and move onto the next prominent stage in my designing. Stardust here was the first really well developed character, although she had some problems as well. Theoretically, I designed her as an apprentice to Luna who painted constellations for the princess to raise. My biggest problem though, again, was that I simply couldn't bring myself to stick to only a single talent. Her cutiemark was too complex, making the meaning very deluded. At this time, I was also still really stuck on neutral tones with blue and green, which honestly needs to be executed with more care when it comes to the plausible mlp universe. In general, though, she was much MUCH better than either Alora or Eris ever were. Picture Print That second image up there was by Cappydarn on DA, and I'm honestly still proud of it. Picture Print was my first genuine, thought-through character. Now, your character obviously doesn't have to be accurate canonically to be good, but having some semblance of realism is very helpful. Picture Print was also more honest to myself than my previous characters, and her talent was specific. To this day, I still have difficulties shunning her given as to how personal she was to me, and I'm still pretty proud about how I got around the no-magic, no-holding ordeal by turning her tail into a paintbrush. Around this time, I also had a deer character named Ahri that I liked a lot at the time c: M. Tealeaf My current primary character is Misty Tealeaf. For her, I think I've put more thought into than any of my previous characters. I stepped away from the greys because they were a trap for me, and powered her down compared to my other, older MLP unicorns. In the time between this character and my previous ones, I definitely improved my drawing ability a lot, but the ability to draw does not make your character better or worse. This character is technically better to me because I conceptualized her a lot more. I made her realistic, but also interesting. She's a unicorn pony with a special talent in potion-making. She's nomadic, similar to a gypsy, and travels with a mobile potion shop. I even added in a quaint little quirk for her where she likes to drink tea out of potion bottles, much to the shock of other ponies. Even her name was given more thought than my other characters. Her first name, Misty is in reference to her magic being white and her hair being blue like water. Her last name hints at her base coat color while also subtly referencing her talent in combining botanical ingredients to form new substances (potions).