Today’s story is about the transformative power of friendship, in the finest tradition of MLP:FiM … even though its protagonist is the villain of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
Order From Chaos
[Crossover] • 10,416 words
A handful of pages recount a remarkable journey to Equestria by someone who sought only a little peace.
FROM THE CURATORS: It’s tricky to write a Crossover story that appeals to readers outside your secondary fanbase. A major factor behind Order from Chaos’ feature is that it’s powerful even without any Sonic knowledge. “I don’t know Sonic from a hole in the ground,” Benman said, “[and] this story hit me extremely hard. … There’s a naked sincerity to this that makes me think of season 1, or Buffy, or the first Harry Potter book.”
And while the story’s about a psychological journey, the physical journey’s also a treat to read. “This does a lot of things right that [Human in Equestria] stories don’t often do right: cautious exploration, language barriers, balancing magic and foreign technology, day 32’s shift in writing style,” Horizon said.
Read on for our author interview, in which Twilight Snarkle battles plot bunnies and discusses how to draw out emotional depth from quiet, analytical characters.
Give us the standard biography.
Nope! No easy answers for you! But I will tell you that I’m the father of five, the brother of five, and I currently occupy a position in the space/time continuum that roughly aligns to most humans’ concepts of
Xanth North Florida.
How did you come up with your handle/penname?
“Twilight Snarkle” comes from a rather unkind tirade I unleashed upon someone (who may or may not have been deserving) on a forum now long-dead. One of the mods piped up and said, “Whoa, cool your jets, Twilight Snarkle!” (or something to that effect) I liked the name so much I kept it.
Who’s your favorite pony?
Uh. Duh. Of the mane six, Twilight is champion. Of course, that’s the easy answer, as she’s also the protagonist of the show. But bookworms? Check. Adorkableness? Check. It should come as no surprise that I have a soft spot in my heart for Gadget Hackwrench, Velma Dinkley, Kaylee Frye, and other nerdy adventure-seeking gals.
Of the non-mane-six? Luna is an obvious favorite, as you might have gathered from my portrayal of her in my stories.
What’s your favorite episode?
Feeling Pinkie Keen! I love the pacing, the regular jokes, and the physical humor that reminds me of the classic Looney Tunes shorts.
What do you get from the show?
An excuse (not that I need one) to veg out with the girls, tell silly stories, and enjoy storytelling that is remarkably well done for a show designed to sell toys. Also more plot bunnies. God help me.
What do you want from life?
If I could press a button right now and get everything on my wish list? You’d find me living in a quiet town in a house full of books, enrolled at the local university for the rest of my days, and my kids in satisfying trades or careers.
Why do you write?
Because the stories demand to be told. I’m currently fighting with another chapter to the Fine Steps collection because the way the story wants to be told and my ability to write are not friends at the moment. It features Diamond Dogs and four mares who will be awfully familiar.
What advice would you give to authors of crossover stories?
Well, I can’t give anything universal, as I flew by the seat of my pants, but I think what made my story successful is that I cared for the character and how he perceives the world. I find too many crossover tales assume that everyone feels like they do about everything, and just plow ahead with the assimilation. Were two worlds to collide, I feel there would be growing pains at the very least. This story, and its sequels, attempt to show that the characters fight to stay true to themselves, even if they don’t know what that means.
This story is the first of a trilogy. Did you have the sequels in mind when you first wrote this? If so, how far ahead did you plan?
I toyed with the idea of a sequel as I finished up the first story. As I finished the second, the threads for the third came together. By the time I finished the third, I had plot bunnies. So many plot bunnies. So many, many plot bunnies*.
Oh, and once Snowdrop became an idea? She pretty much made puppy-dog eyes in my head until I wrote her down. Unfair little…
* You’ll have so many ideas… Ideas! AAAAGH! Just running all the time. Ideas for comedy! Ideas for adventure! Ideas for reviews! Ideas for critiques! Ideas for grimdark! Ideas for shipping! Ideas for plot bunnies! You’ll have SO MANY plot bunnies. FOUR HUNDRED PLOT BUNNIES.
Sonic the Hedgehog crossovers have a reputation for being poor quality. Did that perception influence your decision to write this, or the direction you took with the story?
That’s what started this whole thing. After shooting down yet another Sonic story on my review thread over on Ye Olde Ponychan, I was dared to create a Sonic the Hedgehog / Pony crossover that, to quote Mr. Sturm, “didn’t suck”.
Then I fell in love with the ideas and, well, the rest is history. As for particular tropes or in-jokes or other standards of the crossover theme? I neither sought them out nor avoided them. I just wanted to tell a good story.
I admit I did take the opportunities, where they presented themselves, to include shoutouts to my friends and my favorite works. If you’re looking for easter eggs, then keep an eye on titles, names, constellations, and the like.
(It should be noted that Mr. Sturm pledged internets in return, which I am happy to say I have claimed in full.)
Why did you decide to write this in journal format? How did you make that style work?
Intelligent folks tend to live inside their heads. When trying to make Robotnik approachable, especially since he’s insanely intelligent, I decided the only way to show the reader how he had changed was to give them this point of view.
Once I decided I was writing it as a journal, Robotnik took shape rather easily. Analysis and careful recounting fit his style of interacting with the world. I think it worked remarkably well.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Everyone reading this should go watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Grave of the Fireflies. Oh, make sure you’ve got a pretty good bead on things beforehand, or someone to watch them with who doesn’t mind bawling their eyes out.
You can read Order From Chaos on FIMFiction.net.