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Dear Yuletide Writer ... !

Dear Yuletide Writer:

First off, please, have fun writing the story! I really believe that in the case of fanfiction pieces, as with most art, results are better when someone is doing something that s/he likes, after all. The only thing that I will demand is a happy ending: this is the dark end of the year, when we could all use a little joy!

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
  • 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, shooting stars, 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, scented flowers blooming on a warm night, a cool darkened room on a hot day, 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, cities laced with canals or rivers and stitched together with bridges, a quiet and walled garden in the heart of a busy city, 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.

(Also feel free to check out my interests on my profile and my own fic on this LJ.)

As to the requests:

Black Lagoon (anime or manga) - I've actually never seen the anime, but I understand that it follows the manga (or vice-versa) pretty closely. Basically, although romance/sex are lovely, I also enjoy team interactions, snark, friendships under fire, etc. Although I listed Revy, Rock, Dutch, and Eda in the sign-up. I also like Benny, Shenhua, and Balalaika. Move cautiously with Rock/Revy - I don't think things should come easy in their relationship. I can see interesting interactions between Dutch and Eda (their differing views on U.S. service, for example), Dutch and Balalaika (he's one of the few male allies who's not her subordinate, and I doubt he's intimidated by her), or Revy and Shenhua (what about being trapped by mutual enemies somewhere, and having to work together to get out of that?). Or how about Benny's early days with Lagoon, where he owes Revy his life and Dutch doesn't trust him yet. Or, if you like plotty stuff, one of Eda's loony-tunes, so-crazy-it-actually-works schemes?

Michael Chabon - Gentlemen of the Road - Even though I love my slash, I'm not particularly interested in matching these two up. But it would be a lot of fun to see one of their earlier adventures, something that builds the friendship between them. There's a Fahfrd-and-Grey-Mouser vibe about them that might work well with something a little creepy or a little magical, maybe in the form of a puzzle or a mystery, that would give them chance to prove their worth to each other. Haunted Roman ruins? A Scythian burial site rifled by thieves? Constantinople or some other old, complex corrupt city? Some buddy-buddy mutual hurt-comfort at the end might be nice too. ETA: I hope it goes without saying that this should not be a Christmas story! Putting their Judaism in the story (as a detail is fine - it doesn't have to be a major plot point) would be a plus.

Rumer Godden - Thursdays Children - I'm interested in seeing the kids maybe 10 years later, entering into the prime of their careers - Doone and Crystal onstage, Charles in the military, Ruth as a choreographer - and some sort of interaction between them. It doesn't have to be romantic, but that would be lovely too. A crisis or crises that give them a chance the show their growth would be wonderful: Maybe Ruth has Crystal cast in her big choreography debut, and Crystal has trouble with the role - perhaps an injury, or an illness in the family is the real cause, rather than her usual ego issues? Maybe Doone and Crystal end up having the play opposite each other as a romantic pair, and are having trouble getting past the sibling relationship? Perhaps Charles has become romantically involved with one of the others and is injured in the line of duty before his lover's opening a new show? Maybe Ruth has to stand up against a director who is not interpreting her work as she wishes? Perhaps Charles has inherited his family fortune and honors his parents' memory by funding a new ballet troupe or commissioning a work - and the monetary connection creates tension? There are many possibilities ... you don't have to use mine!

Samurai Deeper Kyo (anime or manga) - I know it says "anime or manga" - but I'm all about the manga here - it was my first manga - and I've read scanlations right through the end of the series. I actually love most of the main characters passionately, with the big exception of Tokito - no Tokito, please. Here are a few ideas for things I'd find interesting, if you haven't already thought of something: Muramasa's flight from the Mibu city with the child Kyo (and probably Anri along as a guard); young Yukimura attempting to settle down and become a proper samurai, with his brother Nobuyuki doubtful about his change of heart (bonus points for Sanada Ten involvement); early days for Sasuke the younger with Yukimura and the Ten, perhaps with Sasuke saving Yukimura from some peril; Hotaru's early days with the Four Emperors, and how young Akira reacts to the newcomer; interactions among Muramasa, Fubuki, Hishigi, and Shihoudou, back before things went really sour. Less gen/more adult/slash ideas (all of which would probably benefit from knowing the entire series through vol. 38): Akari's early days with the Four Emperors, and how she becomes aware of her feelings for Kyo; Hishigi and Fubuki, some crisis during which their relationship evolves to the strange, conflicted thing we see when Kyo and his party first enter the Mibu city (this probably won't be able to have a happy-happy ending); Kyo and Kyoushirou and Sakuya: some back story that would explain [spoilers!] why Kyoushirou was not freaked out to find Sakuya half-undressed with Kyo in the scene where she tries to get Kyo to kill her ... Kyoushirou is angry that Kyo seems to be threatening her with a sword, but is apparently not at all upset by her state of undress.

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