It’s easy to spot why we think today’s story is great.
The Thinkin’ Spot
[Slice of Life] • 5,282 words
Twilight’s first Winter Wrap Up in Ponyville had a rocky start. Things took a turn for the better when she assumed control over the planning and organization, but after a stressful morning and with an all-nighter in front of her, she was afraid it might all be for naught. Luckily Applejack was there and knew Twilight needed a chance to take a break and recharge.
She needed a visit to the Thinkin’ Spot.
FROM THE CURATORS: There’s something magical about a story that can inspire you to the level of reflection that we see in its characters. “The thing about nostalgia is, sometimes we forget that there’s a reason we have it,” Present Perfect mused as we discussed The Thinkin’ Spot. “It’s not all wishful reminiscence; sometimes, nostalgia is just there to remind us about the things we once loved and can no longer grasp.”
Several factors combined to make the story so inspirational — nostalgia included. “This is an excellently crafted nostalgia rush,” FanOfMostEverything said. “This is Twilight’s very first Winter Wrap-Up in Ponyville, and it shows. It’s also a fantastic meditative piece, and a wonderful bit of character exploration for both Twilight and Applejack, finding and embracing every inch of their common ground.” The story also had “a thoughtful theme reinforced by a thoughtful tone, and a pace that swirls in eddies but keeps moving on downriver,” RBDash47 said in his nomination. “Solid character work for each of them, with a lot of reflection on their places in Ponyville and what they mean to each other and the rest of their friends.” The fic accumulated several more compliments on the strength of its construction. “This is calm and quiet in exactly the right ways,” Present Perfect said, “and the fact that it continues integrating the Thinkin’ Spot into Twilight’s life, instead of just introducing it to her and leaving it at that, is what really gives this lasting power.”
Along the way, the fic offered some solid lessons in the spirit of the show. “Applejack’s in her element when it comes to insightful, honest reassurances to Twilight (which should speak to anyone with anxiety issues or worries that they don’t fit in), but she also demonstrates that you don’t have to be the Element of Generosity to give your friend something valuable,” RBDash47 said. And the quotable prose was a bonus, FanOfMostEverything added: “The story may deserve recognition for the line ‘Love ‘n about three sticks of butter’ alone.” But ultimately, what sold us on the story was the exemplary friendshipping. “It’s easy for us fanfiction writers to get caught up in the romance part of the shipping spectrum and forget the friendship part that gives the show its title,” AugieDog said. “The show itself did a whole episode last season specifically to ask, ‘Why are Rainbow Dash and Rarity friends again?’ Looking at Twilight and Applejack, one could easily ask the same question: urban vs. rural, introvert vs. extrovert, cerebral vs. physical, et cetera. This story shows us why, and does it really, really well.”
Read on for our author interview, in which bats discusses drunken pegasi, wing transplants, and Fluttershy kicking a puppy.