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[WRITING TIPS] Character Analysis

By Nebulus
Created: 20th December 2020 07:52:47 PM

  1. Originally uploaded to Pastebin: January 31st, 2015
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  3.  
  4. Updated: December 20th, 2020.
  5.  
  6. Below you will find a compilation of character analyses that I and others have written for the Flutterrape thread.
  7.  
  8. Please note that this will involve bending the characters to conform with the nature of the thread, and will not completely gel with anyone trying to write a regular, non-FR story.
  9.  
  10. ---
  11. -RARITY-
  12. ---
  13.  
  14. Rarity is the Element of Generosity, though in Lauren Faust's original vision she was the Element of Inspiration; she is an artist at heart, and ever looking for new things to capture her imagination and spark some new creative venture.
  15.  
  16. She is a sophisticated, knowledgeable mare best compared to either the stereotypical 1970s career-woman, or a fashion-centric socialite. She's driven, knows what she wants, has acute attention to detail, and can work well under pressure.
  17. She isn't afraid to get stuck in when the going gets rough, though would prefer to keep her hooves clean if given the choice. Though her lifestyle lends itself to niceties and luxury, she is adaptable to undesirable circumstances (see: 'A Dog and Pony Show' and 'Sisterhooves Social').
  18. She is a sociable unicorn, and can talk to just about anyone she meets, always with a smile and the proper formalities. She can be put off by uncouth or disagreeable behaviour, but she maintains an air of civility in spite of such social faux pas. This does of course have a limit, as we saw in regards to her reaction to Prince Blueblood (see: 'Best Night Ever').
  19.  
  20. Her key flaws are that she has a tendency to get tunnel vision for her goals and will sometimes disregard her friends to meet said objectives. We saw this in 'Sweet and Elite', where she disregarded her promise to Twilight in favour of getting closer to the Canterlot upper-crust. She's no stranger to whining to get her own way, and she's sometimes a bit too 'proper' for her own good, often making her come off as prissy. Her attitude often puts her at odds with Applejack and Rainbow Dash, who see her as delicate and afraid of dirt, whereas she sees them as rough and sometimes uncivilised.
  21.  
  22. As one would expect when dealing with a socialite, she is also prone to narcissism. We saw this in 'Sonic Rainboom' when she attempted to steal the spotlight from Rainbow Dash instead of supporting her; as well as in 'Green Isn't Your Colour' where she became jealous of Fluttershy for being chosen as a model over Rarity. 'Dragon Quest' also has an example of her showing off despite the situation not calling for it. She loves herself, as anyone with a high opinion of themselves does.
  23.  
  24. When writing her, think 'classy but casual'. She's a very eloquent mare, but isn't above making little jokes and giggling amongst her friends. It's easy to mistake her lofty personality as snobbery, but she's really just got high standards for herself and her friends. The important thing to note is that she won't demean those that don't meet her standards, but instead try to help them to reach her level. She's a supportive character, and has shown herself to be a trustworthy pony that will push herself to the breaking point to provide the best level of care and service for her friends (see: 'Suited For Success').
  25.  
  26. As you create your story, keep all of the above in mind. Naturally, since you're going to be writing her out-of-character anyway, you'll need to bastardise her good traits and twist them into elements to drive the plot forward.
  27. She enjoys helping her friends be the best they can possibly be. If our Anon is an introvert, then she might get the idea that if she shows him what a mare 'feels' like it might boost his confidence and make him get out more. Noble intentions that might become more twisted as time goes on and Anon's refusal to change could cause her to go to extreme lengths to get her goals.
  28.  
  29. Keyword there: "Extreme". Rarity is extremely motivated as a character, I might even say more so than Rainbow Dash or Applejack, and like the latter ponies will push herself to achieve her goals. She's also a lady. Grace and sophistication are in her blood, and if there's a romantic or otherwise more dramatic way to accomplish something, you can bet that she'll take it. Think rose petals and candlelit rooms. She's that sort of mare; a drama queen.
  30.  
  31. Her goals and motivations are always grounded by her friends. She sets goals for herself, but reigns herself in for the sake of the other Mane 6. Notice that she still lives in Ponyville even though she's a famous fashion designer that creates clothes for mega-stars and royalty. She's probably rich beyond words yet still has a small shop and lives a relatively modest lifestyle compared to the Canterlot elite. She gave up the high-life to live with her friends. If you want to create a realistic portrayal of Rarity, it -must- come back to her friends, as is the case with all of the Mane 6. How does it benefit them for her to do what she does? 'Rarity Takes Manehatten' is an example of an episode where Rarity abuses her friends, and her own actions mortify her. If being in character is what you want then you absolutely must adhere to Rarity's fundamental nature of being a compassionate and generous pony.
  32.  
  33. However, in these threads, we bend characters. We bend characters every time we make the shyest, most loving pony in Equestria (Fluttershy) sodomise something. You mustn't be afraid to bend the character's personality a bit so you can make a story work. But if you want to make your story and characters more believable (unless you're being silly for the sake of being silly) then you mustn't break them.
  34.  
  35. Imagine Rarity as the girl who doesn't give up at the first pass. She sees Anon and she wants him, she will work for him, will put in the hours and make the effort she needs to in order to win him over.
  36. Rejection will cause adaptation; though as we saw in 'Simple Ways' her efforts will become increasingly desperate as time goes on, in the aforementioned episode she even goes as far as to completely amend her own personality in order to attract someone she fancied.
  37.  
  38. She is a pony of romantic tradition; sappy love-letters and the thrill of 'the chase' will appeal to her dramatic side, and will put herself in Anon's path in order to facilitate 'chance-encounters' with him. She would not tie him up in her basement and torture him until he loves her, but she will obsess over what will attract him until she does something extreme.
  39.  
  40. Key episodes:
  41. Look Before You Sleep
  42. Suited For Success
  43. Sonic Rainboom
  44. A Dog and Pony Show
  45. Sisterhooves Social
  46. Made in Manehatten
  47. Sweet and Elite
  48. Inspiration Manifestation
  49.  
  50. ---
  51. -PINKIE PIE-
  52. ---
  53.  
  54.  
  55. Pinkamena Diane Pie is the Element of Laughter. Good feelings and big smiles are her forte; she's quick to laugh, quick to forgive, and often quick to annoy other people (see: Basically every single Pinkie Pie episode).
  56.  
  57. She is best seen as an extroverted social butterfly; she draws strength and energy from the people around her, is motivated by their smiles, and will go to great lengths to make other people happy or to otherwise befriend them (see: 'A Friend In Deed' and 'Too Many Pinkie Pies').
  58.  
  59. Despite her fixation with other people's happiness, she's surprisingly simple to bend to the whims of the thread. Being an often-hyperactive bundle of energy, it's easy to have her excitedly force herself upon Anon as she attempts to woo him. She's a big loveable girl who wants cuddles, good food, and good company, and often has a hard time understanding people that don't want any of that.
  60.  
  61. But as we learnt in 'Party of One', her personality isn't all sunshine and rainbows. She's a mare who takes rejection hard; often confused by it, as was the case with 'A Friend In Deed'; she can take a more severe turn depending on the intensity of the rejection, which was the whole crux of 'Party of One' when she believed that her friends had all abandoned her. This sort of reaction makes a reappearance in 'Pinkie Pride', when she thought that the entire town was going to replace her as the premier 'party pony' with Cheese Sandwich.
  62.  
  63. Her reaction to rejection is telling; she is a social animal, so being deprived of her social connections will have an effect on her. You can use this emotional instability to your advantage when writing her, but you need to keep a few things in mind:
  64.  
  65. Pinkie Pie is not a lolrandum gag-factory.
  66. It's easy to see her as such when horrible episodes like 'Bats!' air where she does nothing but act like a lunatic, but try to concentrate on her good episodes, like 'Party Of One', 'A Friend In Deed', 'Putting Your Hoof Down', 'Pinkie Pride', and probably the finest example of brilliant Pinkie writing: 'Maud Pie'. In these she's shown as affectionate, but not overbearing. She's capable of crying, feeling sad, feeling depressed, and speaking quietly.
  67.  
  68. All too often I see people (in regard to serious stories) have her churn out joke after joke, even when serious situations arise. She's not a moron. She has her moments where she can act oblivious to other character's feelings (see: 'Filli Vanilli') but she's not about to start cracking jokes when a character gets hurt.
  69.  
  70. Pinkie is a surprisingly complex character, and you must utilise all her emotions when writing her. Don't fall into the trap of having her be the sole comic relief in every single situation she's in (again, in regards to serious stories; in short dumb one-shots you can go nuts).
  71.  
  72. She's protective of her friends, namely Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, and would become upset if either of them are hurt or made fun of. She's huge on promises, as evidenced by the 'Pinkie Promise' she makes people take. She loves music, and often plays instruments throughout the show. There are many angles to her which you can take; be creative and expand beyond the simple baker/party-goer dynamic, chances are you can make her fit.
  73.  
  74. So, how would she interact with Anon?
  75. Chances are she'd be accepting of him, perhaps even welcoming. She enjoys pet names like 'Twi' and 'Dashie', so she'd probably stick him with one as well if she likes him well enough. She's a weird mare, and this ends up being great when writing her in a fetish story as it still seems believable when you have her be into the really crazy stuff like consensual sex and hoof-holding, so a relationship with Anon isn't something she'd be above if you want to pursue that route.
  76.  
  77. Remember that she was completely unfazed by Iron Will, a giant hulking Minotaur. Anon isn't as buff as that most of the time so it stands to reason that she'd be accepting of him, and probably still poke fun at the "big scary monster" as much as she'd poke fun at everything else.
  78.  
  79. Of all the characters on the show, Pinkie Pie is one of the hardest to write and easiest to fail at. Her complexity runs deeper than most other characters and too many people seem to fall into the same tired route of making her a shallow, hair-brained lol-so-random autist that knows only jokes, games and puns. Or they write her as a psychopath because her mane went flat and she got frustrated that one time.
  80.  
  81. Respect her wide emotional range and her naïve, optimistic, but slightly unstable personality. She's the craziest horse, but that makes her the most human. She deserves to be written well.
  82.  
  83. Key episodes:
  84. Griffon the Brush Off
  85. Party of One
  86. Baby Cakes
  87. A Friend In Deed
  88. Maud Pie
  89. Party Pooped
  90. The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows
  91. Secrets and Pies
  92.  
  93. ---
  94. -RAINBOW DASH-
  95. ---
  96.  
  97. Rainbow Dash is the Element of Loyalty. She is an athlete, a show-boater, and wears a façade of tough, no-nonsense bravado to hide her more feminine qualities.
  98.  
  99. She is a fairly straight-forward character. Probably the simplest of the Mane 6 to write because her character archetype isn't particularly complicated, nor all that unique. She's an aggressive tomboy who hates losing with a secret penchant for nerdy things. If you've ever watched an anime, you've seen this character.
  100.  
  101. Her hobbies include performing tricks, getting into trouble, pranking people, sleeping, reading Daring Do books, and saying the word 'awesome' ad nauseum. She has a pet tortoise called Tank that she loves very much, is a childhood friend of Fluttershy, and has a sisterly bond with Scootaloo.
  102.  
  103. A fairly basic character, but in a way that makes her easier to work into a story. First we need to note the front-cover of her character: She is excessively narcissistic. Rainbow Dash loves herself and everything that she is, even more so than Rarity does. She's brimming with confidence, has a naturally braggadocios personality, and is eager to let everyone else know that. She spies on her own fan-club, for God's sake.
  104.  
  105. But thankfully, her character isn't so shallow that she acts like a dolt in every situation. Take the episode 'Sonic Rainboom' as an example for Rainbow Dash being scared by a crowd, or rather, scared of letting down the people she admires. When faced with the idea of disappointing the Wonderbolts, Dash locks up and has a near-panic attack.
  106.  
  107. This gives her character a bit of breathing room; she's capable of feeling fear, though her first reaction to danger might be to fly up to it and kick it in the jaw (see: 'Dragonshy'), she -can- succumb to her emotions, and if 'Sleepless in Ponyville' is any indication she has a somewhat warped, but still authentic sense of compassion. Essentially, she acts tough, but is a bit of a sweetheart underneath it all.
  108.  
  109. Sweetheart or no, Rainbow Dash isn't a 'lovey-dovey' pony. She's straightforward, speaks bluntly, and doesn't dance around issues like another character would. She values people that speak to her in her own language; brief and with no filter. She enjoys being with people that share her interests/mannerisms. This is why she and Applejack are so close; they understand each other perfectly and in a way reflect one-another's characteristics. Although as we see over the course of the show, she is of course fully capable of getting along with her friends, whom with the exception of Applejack, diverge a great deal from her core interests and personality.
  110.  
  111. To say that she's loyal would be a truism; Rainbow Dash would crack skulls for her friends. As arrogant as she can be, she will be the first hurl herself into danger if it means saving someone (see: 'Rainbow Falls' and 'Sonic Rainboom'). She wants to see her friends reach their full potential, much like Rarity does (see: Hurricane Fluttershy), and will push them to their limits out of respect for what they could become.
  112.  
  113. There is however one additional facet of her personality that interests me greatly, and that is her aversion to loneliness; once we understand this fear, her entire personality starts to make more sense.
  114.  
  115. Rainbow Dash is terrified of loneliness. We see it when she admits that she hates being alone (see: 'The Mysterious Mare Do Well'); we see it in her egocentric behaviour that craves the adoration of the crowd; the way she always has to be the centre of attention; her 'uncaring' and 'cool' nature where she tags along with whatever's happening because of a sense that 'she has nothing better to do'. She is much like Pinkie Pie in that she draws strength from other people, specifically their attention; deprived of it, she will begin to unravel. Rainbow hates losing; she is not necessarily a -sore- loser, but she'll be frustrated as hell if she loses, and will obsess over why she failed for a while. This is further reinforced by her connecting her self-worth to how successful she is, or how successful she is -perceived- to be.
  116.  
  117. If you understand that it is an underlying fear of failure and loneliness that motivates her, you understand Rainbow Dash. Do with this information as you will as you write her into your stories. She's hardly the type to admit to her failings, though has done so in the past (see: 'Testing Testing 1, 2, 3'), but she will act decisively to prevent herself from becoming irrelevant or otherwise failing.
  118.  
  119. How would she respond to Anon? Depends on the Anon. A self-loathing, unmotivated Anon would be difficult to spark a friendship with, though her desire to see people improve could push her to want to see him drag himself out of the rut he's in and become better. An already-athletic and competitive Anon would be the perfect companion for her, as Dash is fond of anyone who can keep up with her.
  120.  
  121. Key episodes:
  122. Griffon the Brush Off
  123. Fall Weather Friends
  124. Sonic Rainboom
  125. The Cutie Mark Chronicles
  126. Read It And Weep
  127. Sleepless In Ponyville
  128. The End In Friend
  129. Common Ground
  130.  
  131. ---
  132. -TWILIGHT SPARKLE-
  133. ---
  134.  
  135. Twilight Sparkle is the Element of Magic. She bears an insatiable hunger for knowledge, and a curious sense of wonderment about the world around her. She is a pony of logic; of rationale and of a studious nature. She is also by far the single-most fleshed out character in all of Friendship Is Magic.
  136.  
  137. Her character archetype, and by extension position within the show, was designed to place her in the very middle of everyone else around her, making her a sort of 'everyman'. Her traits stretch in every direction in order to facilitate this role, and thanks to 9 seasons of constant development, we have at our disposal a character so well-rounded that making stories out of her is as easy as one two three.
  138.  
  139. So who is she? Twilight is first and foremost, a nerd. She's an introvert bookworm with a passion for learning, and for uncovering the unknown. And yet, following the pilot episodes and the discovery of friendship, she becomes a sociable, friendly, approachable mare with a heart of gold and a charming demeanour, which makes her an easily likeable character that most would want to be friends with. Twilight is also fiercely loyal, and passionate about those that she loves. She's a fighter, rarely giving up in the face of adversity and a mare that rises to every challenge put before her. She begins the show a shut-in with her nose stuffed in dusty old books, and ends it as the supreme leader of Equestria.
  140.  
  141. Conversely, she's also a neurotic know-it-all. Her intelligence can at times alienate her from her peers, and she often finds herself isolated due to no one else around her being on her intellectual level. She has a bitchy streak in her, and is prone to sarcasm and eye-rolling. If she doesn't understand something she can become agitated; if she doesn't get what she wants she will pursue unorthodox avenues to achieve her goals. She plays by the rules until they are inconvenient to her, at which point she will break them, whether it be via casting Want-It-Need-It spells or dabbling in time-travel.
  142.  
  143. Twilight is many things, and this is her greatest strength as a character in any story. Almost any situation you put her in makes some degree of sense, given the amount of development and screen-time she's had, as well as the various adventures she's been on and experiences she's had that have molded her character in ways that lend to her flexibility. Twilight can be anything, and it's for this reason that she's personally my favourite character to write about. Her flexibility allows for some wildly different ideas to be thrown together around her without breaking her character.
  144.  
  145. Let's explore some thread-related themes:
  146.  
  147. How would she react to initial rejection?
  148. There are many roads to take, but let's just look at two for now.
  149.  
  150. First, we can adhere to her scientific, analytical mind.
  151. In this scenario she would no doubt plunge into her books to try and figure out a reason as to why she was turned down. Was it her looks? Her approach? Her smell? Did she say something wrong? How can she learn from this? These are all questions she would be asking herself. And if 'It's About Time' was any indication, she'll stop sleeping and go to every extreme to try and figure out what went wrong. This also taps into her neurotic side. If Twilight can't figure something out, she's going to dip deeper and deeper into insanity until she can.
  152.  
  153. Secondly, her anti-social, inexperienced side.
  154. Twilight was raised by books and shunned friends for the first three quarters of her life. It's possible that her only real friend was her brother, and her only hobbies were reading and studying. It's only recently she moved to Ponyville, made friends, went on wacky adventures, and glued wings to her back. It's very believable to think that she's still struggling with some of the more intimate aspects of friendship. As such, relationships are likely a concept she hasn't explored yet. Upon being rejected she would possibly be stunned, confused, and hurt. Stunned because she failed at something. Confused because she likely wouldn't understand where she went wrong. Hurt because Anon turned her down and she "just really really likes him". Where you choose to go from this point is up to you, but just try to imagine what you would do if you were a magical talking princess horse whose perfect cutiepie alien husbando turned you down.
  155.  
  156. What of her reaction to Anon in general?
  157. Anonymous is an alien from another world/dimension. The implications of this are no doubt going to set her mind racing with questions, and from it we can pluck two more plausible personalities for her.
  158.  
  159. First, excited 'ask-everything' Twilight.
  160. A new species? Here in Ponyville? Find him and ask him everything ever! We've all seen Twilight get excited over things, from her admission into Celestia's academy when she was younger to her stuffing her face with burgers at the local fast-food joint, her heart-wrenchingly cute overreactions to novelties are very likely to make an appearance when dealing with a new creature, especially an intelligent one like Anon who possesses knowledge she herself doesn't have.
  161.  
  162. But what if she's more wary? Second, enter 'serious' Twilight.
  163. Twilight would understand better than most why Anon is a massive deal. He needs to be quarantined. He might carry diseases! What if there's more of his kind? Does he come in peace? All these things will require excessive planning and organisation. Twilight's 'overseer' side can definitely make an appearance here, and for more serious stories this could be the preferred route.
  164.  
  165. And what of her crazy side? Twilight, much like Pinkie Pie, is an unstable pony. 'Lesson Zero' was an eye-opening look into the mind of a mare on the edge. And her early episodes as a princess showed her quickly succumbing to the stresses and problems that come with being royalty.
  166.  
  167. This gives us a wonderful look into Twilight's mind, so much so that we can believe the idea of her falling into a mental rabbit hole when overcome with stress and worry. She brainwashed an entire town because she thought she'd miss a deadline. Extremely disruptive and deserving of a good telling off, but did she hurt anyone? No. Making Twilight go to ludicrous extremes is a fun thing to do, but she is not a violent soul, and would never hurt anyone intentionally.
  168.  
  169. Twilight Sparkle is an extraordinary character. She's a mare that can fill almost any role you plant her in, and she'll perform admirably throughout. Believable and likeable (or unlikeable if you so choose), she's a brilliant starting point if you're looking for characters to write your first story about. Her flexibility will allow for some mistakes without breaking the immersion of the story, and her wide range of past experiences can provide inspiration for a great many possible plots.
  170.  
  171. Key episodes:
  172. Every season opener and closer; yes, all of them.
  173. Boast Busters
  174. Winter Wrap Up
  175. Lesson Zero
  176. Magic Duel
  177. Amending Fences
  178. Pony Point Of View
  179.  
  180. ---
  181. -APPLEJACK-
  182. ---
  183.  
  184. Applejack is the Element of Honesty. She is tough, diligent, and fills a more maternal role within the Mane 6. As the pony that is often the level-headed voice of reason, she keeps those around her grounded, and is usually the last to break in times of stress.
  185.  
  186. Surprisingly, Applejack has also appeared in more episodes than even Twilight, making her more present throughout the series than any other character. But whilst her many appearances could have built upon her character as Twilight's did, Applejack largely remained the same throughout the show. Her core personality, much like the mare herself, remained steadfast over the passage of time.
  187.  
  188. To understand Applejack, you must first understand her roots. She is a pony of tradition, heritage, and family. Her ancestors were there at the founding of Ponyville, and have lived there ever since. She has a stronger connection to the town and its people than any of the Mane 6. With this in mind, you must orient her desires and goals around the town and her family. She never does anything without considering those closest to her. Above all else, she is committed to her sense of duty as the mare in charge of Sweet Apple Acres.
  189.  
  190. Committed as she is, she is also extremely stubborn. Early episodes such as 'Applebuck Season' see her attempting to tackle far more work that she's cut out for, but even after falling asleep on the job from exhaustion she still carries on out of a refusal to accept help. This trend of her being too proud to accept support from others reappears again later in the show, such as in 'Applejack's Day Off'.
  191.  
  192. Her honesty is on display for all to see. Applejack is a pony who wears her heart on her sleeve. She is honest to a fault about her intentions and her thoughts on various matters, at times even hurting the feelings of her friends for being too 'tactless' when voicing her opinions. She does not lie willingly, and even then is terrible at it. She does not deceive, as she considers herself above such things, and will hold others to the same standard.
  193.  
  194. As a character, the above traits must be recognised when giving her purpose within your story. Applejack is a pony who rarely takes time off work, and if she does take time off you'd better believe she's going to be as productive as she can be during it. She doesn't have time to play interpersonal games; much like Rainbow Dash she is straight to-the-point, and won't stand any messing if something obstructs her goals.
  195.  
  196. Furthermore, she is a pony who understands history and the future. A family-oriented mare, she will likely be on the lookout for someone who might be able to pitch in around the farm, and a strong, honest man that has a good work ethic could be just what she is looking for. So much so that she wouldn't want to waste any time securing such a man for herself. If the farm is going to thrive, she'll need help, even if she doesn't want to admit it.
  197.  
  198. Her maternal nature cannot be overstated; Applejack is a pony who cares. Her manner is more subtle than Fluttershy's, the latter of which expresses her affection towards animals and ponies she cares about in a rather overbearing way; Applejack is a more resolute, firm motherly figure. She embodies the idea of 'tough love' quite well, and being a salt-of-the-earth type of girl likely has a general belief in the 'greater good' when it comes to doing what's best for people. Her protective attitude towards her sister Applebloom in 'Somepony to Watch Over Me' highlights this trait. If Applejack wants to look after someone, there's very little they can do to stop her.
  199.  
  200. Her motivations are fundamentally selfless. In 'Best Night Ever' she attends the gala to sell apples and help the family, specifically to buy Granny Smith a new hip. In 'Bridal Gossip' her chief concern is protecting Applebloom from Zecora. After receiving a trophy in 'Applebuck Season', she immediately goes back to work rather than enjoying herself. Remember her selflessness when writing her.
  201.  
  202. How would she react to Anon? Of all the ponies out of the Mane 6, Applejack is the most difficult to rationalise. Beyond the single trope of needing someone to assist on the farm, it is admittedly hard to think of scenarios to include Applejack in without breaking her character. The problem is that she's just too principled!
  203.  
  204. Though perhaps you can succeed where I failed. My lack of imagination when it comes to Applejack has been one of my biggest bugbears during my time in Flutterrape.
  205.  
  206. Key episodes:
  207. Applebuck Season
  208. Look Before You Sleep
  209. Over a Barrel
  210. The Best Night Ever
  211. The Last Roundup
  212. Apple Family Reunion
  213. Made In Manehatten
  214. Sounds of Silence
  215.  
  216. ---
  217. -FLUTTERSHY-
  218. ---
  219.  
  220. Fluttershy is the Element of Kindness. She is gentle, soft-spoken, and even after 9 seasons of character development, still terribly shy.
  221.  
  222. An old friend of Rainbow Dash's, she has an affinity for animals and a love of nature. She is a calm pony who enjoys tea, singing, the spa, and all manner of dainty pass-times that involve cute animals and serenity.
  223.  
  224. Yet she is also capable of wrestling bears and employing psychological warfare on animals and ponies that don't do what she wants. She's an odd character; one who repeatedly has to re-learn the lesson to be assertive, and never really 'gets' it. She alternates between being terrified of crowds and loud noises, and being generally fine with them. She flip-flops between being shy, and being assertive seemingly on a whim. Is it bad writing on the part of the staff? More than likely. Does it mean that Fluttershy doesn't necessarily have to be unbearably shy all the time? Yes.
  225.  
  226. Being the Element of Kindness, Fluttershy's main trait is her overwhelming compassion towards all creatures great and small. She is the mare that Celestia entrusted to reform Discord. She saw the goodness in the dragon in 'Dragonshy', even overcoming her crippling fear of him to do so. She stopped the fight with the Manticore in the pilot episodes and addressed the thorn stuck in its paw. She abhors violence, and even in 'A Canterlot Wedding' during the fight against the Changelings, didn't actually fight them and instead spent the whole fight cowering and running away.
  227.  
  228. She was bullied for her frailty and weak flying when she was younger (see: Hurricane Fluttershy), which meant she carried with her a fear of crowds and a preference for being low to the ground. She rarely speaks of it, but she has an acute knowledge of fashion, which helps foster a close relationship with Rarity, whom admires her natural beauty and grace.
  229.  
  230. Though she is best characterised by her kinder moments, she does have some serious anger boiling away under her soft exterior. After training from Iron Will, she became an aggressive, cruel mare with a tongue like barbed wire and very little remorse, resulting in her lambasting Rarity and Pinkie Pie. During 'The Best Night Ever', her failure to befriend the rare animals in the castle gardens caused something akin to a psychotic break which gave us the timeless quote "You're going to LOVE ME!". In 'Sounds of Silence' she gets annoyed at Applejack for not seeing her side of the argument, raising her voice with her friend. She is not above anger, and in fact her angrier moments are often her most entertaining, but these moments are rare, and usually only bubble to the surface after prolonged periods of stress.
  231.  
  232. She was hand-picked by Photo Finish to be a model, and despite Fluttershy's obvious fear of the spotlight, excelled at it effortlessly. If Fluttershy were to embrace her talents and cast aside her fears, she would be a force to be reckoned with; a beautiful, compassionate, intelligent pony who has a lot more going on under the hood than people give her credit for. Sadly, for her, she's essentially crippled by her social anxiety, which is all the more reason why it's so amusing to have her be the mascot of Flutterrape.
  233.  
  234. She is the thread's namesake; and in the face of all I have written regarding the other characters, it is rather difficult to justify what we do to her on a regular basis. The running gag in Flutterrape, as described by the old FR writer Driverbang, is that the relationship between Fluttershy and Anon is akin to that between Wile E. Cyote and Road Runner. In that classic show, the 'hero' Wile E attempts, with increasingly zany but ultimately fruitless antics, to catch the Road Runner. Why is he doing it? Presumably because he wants to eat the Runner. Will he ever succeed? No, because then there wouldn't be a show.
  235.  
  236. So too must Fluttershy ever be chasing Anon. The joke is that the shyest, most timid pony in Equestria is at heart a sexual deviant who is head-over-heels in love with the resident human. Is it accurate to her character? Of course not, but with the above traits taken to heart you can make her as accurate as possible.
  237. To write Fluttershy well is to write her as believably as you can whilst adhering to the core theme of the thread. She is capable of much; a mare of many talents and a genuinely kind soul.
  238.  
  239. Now get out there and corrupt the hell out of her.
  240.  
  241. Key episodes:
  242. Dragonshy
  243. Suited for Success
  244. Green Isn't Your Colour
  245. Putting Your Hoof Down
  246. Hurricane Fluttershy
  247. Keep Calm and Flutter On
  248. Scare Master
  249. Fluttershy Leans In
  250.  
  251. ---
  252. -ZECORA- [ WRITTEN BY SMUDGEY - Check out more of his work here: pastebin.com/u/Smudgey, he's a fantastic writer. ]
  253. ---
  254.  
  255. Zecora is the embodiment of the mysteries of nature.
  256. A gentle, calm mare. She stands out as a boon of unknown knowledge, an authority in her unique field of expertise unmatched by even the most studious of ponies.
  257.  
  258. Very little is actually known about Zecora herself, as the show utilizes her sparingly. We don't know where she came from or what happened to her relatives or why she left them, we pretty much know absolutely nothing about her past and everything we do know is simply guess work. Her purpose in the show's writing is typically as a macguffin generator, normally only showing her face to provide answers to the main cast when an unknown element arises. This is done to combat the idea that the pure arcane magic that all unicorns are feasibly capable of using is able to solve all conflicts/problems in the show. In other words, her purpose is to undermine the oppressive authority of conventional magic, inserting seeds of doubt that it can be used to solve anything and everything so conflicts have some semblance of actual importance.
  259.  
  260. When making use of her in your own stories, there's a clear thing to keep in mind when trying to construct her personality. Despite how little we know of her, what we do know from her appearances is that she is a calm, collected, knowledgeable individual; almost sage-like way, and above of all else she is -patient-. We can extrapolate this from the fact that her chosen profession is potion maker; one can easily grasp the amount of patience required to sit in front of a pot brewing mixtures she knows while also experimenting with things she doesn't know as being a master of trial and error does not come easily. Despite this, Zecora is one with nature and exudes the essence of maturity and wisdom, only rivaled by the Princesses just from their sheer unnatural lifespans.
  261.  
  262. We can also theorize one more important aspect of her personality, and that is the fact that she herself actually enjoys being alone. This can be gleamed from the basis of her lifestyle. When she initially entered the show, she was ostracized by her peers in Ponyville for being different, however this was only the case for the first episode. Since then, she's been a well known companion to the main cast; so why is it that she still rarely shows her face despite being on friendly terms with them? It is because she enjoys the peace and quiet of solitude. Keep in mind, although she's content with living by her own means, she also quite humble and will never turn down guests, welcoming all who come to her seek aid so long as they show the proper amount of respect.
  263.  
  264. With all this in mind, the question then becomes "how do we turn such a person into a rapist?". It's actually not all that difficult, as her profession in potions and all around mysterious nature allows for a lot of leeway to skew in our favor. She's quite possibly the only pony in Ponyville that could feasibly create various kinds of mind altering drugs while still being in-character, though this is only one aspect to keep note of. Another thing to realize is she has more in common with Anon himself than most people give her credit for. Where as the denizens of Ponyville are a bustling community with an emphasis on camaraderie and friendship, Zecora is the only one who can clearly emphasize with the feeling of being ostracized as an outsider that Anon must share. This comes not just from the fact that she's a loner, but because of the fact she is also a zebra, a different apparently unknown species that is looked on with caution and apprehension. These are feelings well understood by Anon, being an alien race that knows full well he doesn't belong there.
  265.  
  266. When writing her as an antagonist, the things to remember when writing are as follows:
  267.  
  268. -Zecora is not the type to lose her temper.
  269. -Zecora is not a maniacal potion brewing witch.
  270. -Zecora is not a pony who would use force as a means to achieve her goals.
  271. -Zecora is not someone who would give up or be disheartened after an unexpected set back.
  272.  
  273. Simply put, Zecora is capable of foresight and aiming for the long haul. While using drugs to straight up knockout Anon and fuck him are within her means, this is normally an option reserved for ponies that don't respect nature would use. Zecora would be more inclined for the quiet/subtle approach, using her own charms as the basis for her attack. Even while Anon is being accosted by other mares, Zecora would be the type to hide her feelings, only making sure that thoughts of her linger in the back of his Anon's mind while quietly imbedding the idea that she's a better alternative than all others.
  274.  
  275. "Zecora understands me" "Zecora is different from the others" "Zecora would never take advantage of me"
  276. These thoughts are the seeds Zecora wants to sow. Like plants ready to be harvested, by the end Anon will come willingly to her bosom without ever realizing he has been played by her since the very beginning. This would be one of her ideal scenarios, this style of attack also takes advantage of how mature she seems as well, as her wise/mysterious nature sets her apart from the mane6 who are the equivalent of young adults at best.
  277.  
  278. The most notably difficult aspect of writing Zecora is of course the fact she speaks entirely in rhymes, an off putting challenge that most authors are incapable of or simply unwilling to tackle. Most rely on excuses or jokes as a means to circumvent this core part of her character and ignore it, but this almost always comes off as lackluster and unpleasant to read. An example of this with another character would be like arbitrarily proclaiming Twilight is no longer a unicorn just so magic would no longer be a problem factor in the story.
  279.  
  280. Speaking in rhyme doesn't come naturally, so I can only offer what little advice I have from my own experience to help solve this issue. Rhymes are the basis of music and inherently require rhythm, so to use them properly in text one must set ground rules.
  281.  
  282. *Comprehend the number of syllables in each word, sentences need to flow naturally without pauses so dividing each line into a beginning half and ending half and then ensuring they have the same amount of syllables is an absolute must.
  283.  
  284. *Learn to speak in a short abrupt manner, this keeps things from growing too difficult and falling apart. The longer a sentence continues on without rhyming, the less impact it has. Run on sentences are only permissible if you're capable of ensuring the full sentence rhymes with itself in some manner instead of just the last word of each sentence, otherwise the rhyme itself gets lost and forgotten amidst the wall of text.
  285.  
  286. *Not all words have rhymes, there's actually a surprisingly large number of them that don't or simply rhyme with something so completely unrelated that it would be impossible to incorporate it in a sentence together. Sometimes it is simply easier to think backwards and pick the word you wish to rhyme first, then build a sentence around it so you don't run into an impassable wall.
  287.  
  288. *This probably goes without saying, but a wide vocabulary is by far your biggest asset. If you have an idea of what you want to say, but the word has limited rhymes, look for alternative words with the same meaning; this opens more options to rhyme with. Grab a thesaurus when you need to, it'll save a lot of headaches.
  289.  
  290. *Zecora doesn't have to say everything so long as she's not the reader's main point of view. Utilize Anon's or others narration as a means to take a break from the difficulties of rhyming in between conversations and also as a way to explain more complex/problematic matters in the story. If something is too important to ignore, have the supporting cast fill that spot to take the edge off of writing by Zecora's standards.
  291.  
  292. If you can make use of this advice, you should be able to churn out a Zecora story to the standard you hold for your other writings.
  293.  
  294. Then maybe we'll all get to enjoy some more jungle fever in the future.
Miscellaneous Flutterrape SFW Non-Fiction Mane 6 Zecora

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