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Sutcliff Swap 2013: Dear Author

First off, please enjoy yourself, Author dear!

Especially, please don't be intimidated by my list of stuff here. I myself would rather have more info than less, and it's in that spirit that this is given. But optional details are optional.

Preferences

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
  • Sweet girlish stuff with no edge (most romance-focused fiction/shoujo manga leave me cold)
  • 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 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 I like 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
    • 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
    • romantic partners who are both competent
    • licking honey or something similar off fingers
    • kissing the inside of the elbow or the base of the throat
    • finding in a fight that one's ally feels like a protective wall
    • drops of water clinging to hair and/or skin

I'm quite content with both straight and gay relationships. I do tend to ship the canon relationships, unless it's a character who has had no clear relationships shown in the story. I'm not comfortable with sexual relationships shown in children under the age of, say, 14 or so, and even then it's better in context (teens with other teens or in a societal setting where girls expect to marry by 16-18 anyway).

The Characters and Their Stories

Owain and Regina, Dawn Wind

I want their future together, after they find each other again at long last: the less cracky adult version of the warped domesticity they had in the ruins of Viroconium. Eventful things could happen (although I'm not partial to anything that resembles the almost-rape Regina suffered with the cattle raiders), if you like, but I'm also very much open to domestic trivia. Animal characters are desirable. Offspring are optional: I consider them a normal part of married life of the times, but I'm not completely besotted with cute babies. If you're so inclined, sexytimes are fine.

Conn and Luned, The Shining Company

How about the missing scene where Conn comes home? That could actually be several scenes: maybe her father sets him tasks to prove his worth? That could almost be a mythic/legendary tale. Or, contrariwise, their domestic life together (I'm a sucker for domestic) from marriage onward ... maybe including the moment when Prosper comes home from Constantinople? (OT3 is good too!)

Prosper and Cynan, The Shining Company

Not slash for this pairing: instead, I want something of the expedition to Constantinople. It could be a scene (or scenes) from the journey, or what happens when they get there, or a leave-taking, because I believe that Prosper will want to return to Britain eventually.

Aud and Muirgoed, Sword Song

I'd like something of their life together, anywhere from when Muirgoed first arrives in the household to through the events involving Bjarni and afterward. The evolution of their relationship is an idea that appeals to me.

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