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Dear Parallels Author

Thank you so much for writing a story for me! Please write something that's fun and interesting for you to write: that's as important as trying to follow my prompts. I have included here a whole boatload of details, some of which at least have been useful to authors in the past, and a review of my prompts.

I Like:

  • Friendships - although I am a romantic sort of person, not every relationship has to be romantic (I do like the trope of friends becoming lovers, however)
  • Strong characterization (including character-appropriate dialog: no earthy, uneducated characters using $50 words)
  • Wry and even dark humor in the course of a more serious story
  • Positive emotional payoffs that are well-earned
  • Passions that are strong without being mushy/fluffy
  • Moments of realization - satori
  • And any of the following "cool bits": hurt-comfort | being cozy indoors when it's rainy or snowing | senses of smell and touch and memories attached to them | sudden realization of one's feelings for another | warm and oversized bathrobes/dressing gowns or sweaters/jerseys | someone's profile silhouetted against the light | opposites attracting | impulsive acts of valor (especially on behalf of the weak or an underdog) | the little spots of light that sift through a thick canopy of trees onto the ground beneath | water running over pebbles or stones | old-fashioned sections of town with narrow streets and alleyways and odd shops | licking honey or something similar off fingers | someone gradually waking and smiling when they realize their beloved is there | an autumn leaf or item of clothing as the only bit of color in a bleak landscape | brushing long hair or riffling fingers through short hair | romantic partners who are both competent | cabinets or cases full of odd curios | the sound of a flute or panpipes | an open-air market or seaside boardwalk or other place filled with joyful bustle and the smell of good things to eat | a teahouse or restaurant on the water | whispered admissions of love or forgiveness | food porn | finding in a fight that one's ally feels like a protective wall | cynics with secretly soft hearts | a study or library as a refuge against the outside world | places where arts or martial arts are studied or where master crafters are at work | kissing the inside of the elbow or the base of the throat | drops of water clinging to hair and/or skin.

I Don't Like:

  • Characters acting OOC, especially if the purpose is to force them into a relationship (doubly bad if that relationship is romantic or sexual)
  • Romantic/sexual relationships between partners of very uneven levels of power (adult/child, master/servant) - only a couple of writers have ever managed this without squicking me out.
  • By-the-numbers, every-action-described explicit sex (first they do this, then they do that, then ...)
  • Mpreg
  • Fluffy girlish stuff
  • Extensive use of epithets, or epithets that don't match the character POV (no one should think of his or her long-time lover as "the green-eyed man," for example): these will throw me right out of a story

I'm quite content with both straight and gay relationships. In the case of regular fiction (as opposed to manga), I do tend to ship the canon relationships, unless it's a character who has had no relationships shown in the story. I'm not comfortable with sexual relationships shown in children under the age of, say, 14 or so, and not even among older teens except with their age peers.

As to the individual story ideas:

Pet Shop of Horrors - Count D, Leon, Chris

It's been a decade or two since Leon last saw Count D. Now-grown Chris has some startling news. Is there a reunion? How does it go? (No, it doesn't have to be Chris. But I like the relationship between the brothers.)

Some possible themes:

"Broken trust can be repaired / But it’ll take some time / To get us there"

or

"Don't mind if I fall apart / There's more room in a broken heart"

FAKE - Dee, Ryo

Some tasty hurt-comfort where Dee feels he's failed at something and Ryo has to pull him out of his slump would suit me. Explicit is very much OK for this pairing, although my tastes tend to be pretty vanilla within the realm of m/m sex. And bits of humor would be nice, too.

Possible themes:

"There's nothing here to hold on to / Could I hold on to you?"

or

"Here I sit with open hands / Here I wait without a plan."

Mushishi - Ginko, Tanyuu, Kumado (Mushishi)

I love the friendship that's starting to bloom between the various Mushi-shi toward the end of the series. I would be interested in seeing Ginko's near-unflappability tested. Perhaps some mushi gets the best of him, and the other two have to rescue him? Tanyuu can't get around well, of course, but that could add to the interest of the story. Bonus points for inventive mushi and Japanese cultural details, and cameos by any of the other characters from the series (Adashino, Nui, etc.) would be great.

Possible theme: "No one knows you so well: All the ghosts that still haunt you / Or the secrets you won't tell."

Samurai Deeper Kyo - Sanada Yukimura, Akari, Demon Eyes Kyo, Hotaru, Yuan, etc.

So I've named several of my favorite characters, but actually, I love most of the characters from this series (except Tokito, who annoys the hell out of me). Something expanding on the idea of the final, post-climax chapter. where the others are adjusting to what they assume will be life without Demon-Eyes Kyo could be good. How do Yukimura's experiences with Kyo shape what will eventually (historically) become of him? Akari has essentially lost of the love of her life (both of them, actually, if you count Hishigi too), but eventually seems to settle down to being a productive researcher. How does she achieve this balance? And Yuan is included just because I like him so much. There's a lot more depth that one could assume from his first appearances.

(And I don't have a song prompt for this one ... there are too many possibilities.)

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