Today’s story had no problem soaring to a feature.
It’s Not the Wings
[Slice of Life] • 6,144 words
Twilight is almost used to being an alicorn now. She’s accepted that unexpected change, and is even happy about it, most of the time. Her magical abilities have grown by leaps and bounds, and she’s starting to enjoy the freedom offered by flight. While she can’t imagine ever being as good as Rainbow Dash, anypony with reasonable standards would by now consider her quite competent in the air.
But despite her growing enthusiasm and confidence, there’s something that she has neglected to deal with. Something that’s bothered her at times ever since the transformation, but kept getting shuffled down her list of priorities. Fortunately, she knows just the pony to talk to for help, and she won’t let nervousness and self-reliant rationalization hold her back anymore. The latest of Pinkie Pie’s parties provides a perfect pretext for a conversation she should’ve had months ago.
FROM THE CURATORS: Don’t let It’s Not the Wings’ description fool you — the real draw here runs deeper than Twilight’s inner fears. “At first blush, this looks like an alicornification headcanon fic — you know, the kind where the author dives into what being an alicorn really means, how Twilight’s grappling with it, all that jazz,” Chris said in his nomination. “But it’s really not. That element of the story is an accent to its true focus, which is Twilight and AJ having a friendly, semi-serious chat of the sort that friends have.” That’s what drew the most attention from our curators, such as Present Perfect’s praise: “I’ll always support a story about ponies being good friends with each other.”
By itself, that core strength was enough to win most of us over. “This fic is almost notable for how little happens, and yet I can’t help but love it,” Soge said. “There is something organic and hypnotic about their conversation that just drags you in.” And over and over again, our praise kept returning to the way this explored its central friendship. “It’s a bit ramble-y in all the right ways, capturing the feel of a conversation while still being an enjoyable read,” Chris said, and Present Perfect agreed: “The diversions only buttress the realism of the dialogue.”
What sealed the deal was the story’s approach, keeping a strongly show-like tone and a very pony moral. “This could have gone in many different zany directions, and yet the fic is focused in a way that makes it really solid and rooted,” Soge said. Chris summed it up elegantly: “If I had to pick one word to describe this fic, it would be ‘comfy.'”
Read on for our author interview, in which Tallinu discusses inspiring presumptions, prehensile manes, and Occam’s Pink Razor.