Chapter 7, Part 2: The Fanon World of MLP
(Please note that any images used in this post are by the artists listed. They are placeholders and I hope to have art expressly drawn for this book to replace these images. If you are interested in submitting something, please see this post.)
SPOILER WARNING! THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS CONTENT THAT IS IN THE SERIES.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, WATCH THE SERIES NOW!
(Continued from: The Canon world of MLP)
The ability of fans to make their own characters and put them wherever they want in any world that they create is a huge reason why many Bronies like the fandom. While there are a few basic locations in the official pony world, such as Canterlot, Ponyville and Cloudsdale, the places like Manehattan and Appleloosa were only briefly shown, and that leaves a lot that the fans can elaborate on. Then there are places like Trottingham, which was never shown and was only mentioned a couple of times. It could be a farm, a hamlet or a city. Only the appearance of Pip, a Trottingham citizen, gives the town any context. Pip’s accent may imply that Trottingham is British, or it could be simply far away from Ponyville. Fans take such ideas and run with them, creating an entire town and all the citizens that may inhabit it.
The final (and most potent) level of fan content development is creating brand new settings for ponies from scratch. To stay on the city theme, it is easy for viewers of Friendship is Magic to accept that there is a town based on the real Philadelphia in pony land, called Fillydelphia. As such Bronies made up other locations based off of human settings as well. They wrote abut forests besides the Everfree, or about the jungle, or frigid cold tundra, in the hopes that such settings do exist in Equestria. The sky is the limit when creativity extends out to these completely imagined settings. Some creative bronies even go so far as to develop entire fantasy worlds for their ponies to explore and adventure in.
In other fandoms, their fiction does not stop at the edges of their imagination. In fact, fan stories often involve other fictional (or non-fictional) settings, as well as characters from completely different stories, universes, or even genres. Such stories are called crossovers. An example of a crossover character is Doctor Whooves, who is a character from another series (Doctor Who) that is in the world of pony. In the fan fiction crossovers, Doctor Whooves and his assistants of the day (many times Derpy Hooves) travel in his trademark TARDIS and go on normal Doctor Who-esque adventures, but as ponies! This can lead to interesting settings, situations, and experiences with the Doctor Who world. It can also be amusing to see how normal characters from either show react to these ‘new’ crossover characters.
Most fiction that has been written by Bronies is housed at fimfiction.net and equestriadaily.com , as well as being listed in a few Google Documents (which strive to keep on top of all of the writing that fans submit). Stories written by fans can be as short as only a page or two describing a single scene or emotion. They also range to novel size, taking hundreds of pages to tell an elaborate tale of pony adventures. The largest crossover fiction by far is the series Fallout Equestria, where the characters of MLP:FIM have been placed in the setting of the Fallout video game series, published by Interplay Entertainment and later by Bethesda Softworks. This video game series has been popular for the past decade, and is set in the future. In it, ponies live in a post-Apocalyptic Equestria, where the land is harsh, and poisoned with radiation, making it difficult to survive without violence, let alone faction warfare. The novel is by Kkat, and is 2,034 pages long in total. It was released in chapters over the span of months and gained a lot of fans during this process. It is so popular that this story has its own Wiki, its own website, spin-off novels written by others based on this story, fan music, and fan art! It is truly its own sub-fandom within the Brony community. It continues to grow as more and more fans are able to finish the story, whether online, on an e-reader, or by listening to the entire series in audio book format.
Another creative endeavor done by the community of Bronies is called the ‘Letters from and to Equestria project‘. This was a living Google Document that provided a mail service for fans. In it, fans would write letters to ‘ponies’, which was then answered by other fans pretending to be said ponies. It is a group project that has been growing both in size and quality . This project is currently in Season 3, with each season being over four hundred letters long and averaging out to at least 18 letters answered every day. The letters are required to follow official show canon, but they also acts as a story based out of this canon, creating an ever-growing crowd-grown fan fiction.
Next, an example!