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Dear Yuletide Author ...

Dear Yuletide Writer:

Sorry this is a couple of days late! RL is frantic and a mess ... .

The most important thing is for you to write something that you will enjoy writing! I think that the results of any creative effort turn out better when the creator 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 (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. (NOTE: If you're writing Inheritance Trilogy - Madding/Oree, that would be one of those exceptions! Madding is so clearly besotted with Oree that she actually holds the upper hand in a lot of ways.)
  • 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 or on AO3.)

As to the requests:

DOGS - Mostly, I enjoy that broken little family that Bishop has collected. So any sort of domesticity (suitably warped ... this is not your average happy family) would be a lot of fun. One of my favorite scenes is the one where Badou is fixing Naoto's clothes because Nill can't figure out how to do it! So ... A shopping/supply-scrounging expedition? Badou tells Nill a (Badou-style) bedtime story while Heine and Naoto listen in? They celebrate New Year's? Naoto has a not-quite heart-to-heart chat with someone? (She probably wouldn't be exactly forthcoming, but she might blurt out something in the right circumstances ...) Badou, spurred by sad/bad memories, goes into a cleaning frenzy until someone talks him down?

Also, I'm partial to m/m, and although I know that Badou says "our relationship isn't like that" about himself and Heine, I'm not sure I believe him ... on the other hand, I'm sure they're not in love. So if you want to go there a bit, I'd be game.

Chronicles of the Kencyrath - P. C. Hodgell - The vivid worldbuilding plus Jame's trademark black humor are among the things I love about this series. I really like a huge number of the characters in this, so I don't mind if any of the more-or-less pro-Jame characters show up, and of course the villains are fine if you need them to add tension.

Daily life at the Randon college? Rue and Brier trying to keep Jame's life in order there (with or despite Grey's help)? A visit from Marc? A missing scene from Marc's and Jame's trip at the beginning of Dark of the Moon? Kindrie adjusts to life at the Jaran college? Bane drops in for a visit? Tori holds a festival of some kind, with Jame playing her usual role as mistress of mayhem? Jame ends up in someone else's soulscape and learns something that makes her feel a little more optimistic about her people?

I also have a longing for Kindrie to end up with someone who actually cares about him and sees what he's worth. He deserves so much better! I don't really ship him with Tori because Tori is such a mess, especially about the Shanir (and besides, Word of God indicates another pairing for Tori). So some sort of "fix it" would be great. (The bit where Kindrie heals Jame's soul and then as he starts to wake, sees Bane - whom he does not know - and hears him say "Welcome to the family, little cousin," is one of my favorite things. No, this does not mean I ship him with Bane - Trinity forbid!)

Inheritance Trilogy - N. K. Jemisin - I enjoyed The Broken Kingdoms more than The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and I liked Kingdom of Gods a little less than both (although Older-Sieh/Dekarta was very sweet and hot). I loved the chemistry between Oree and Madding, so something sensual or even sexy with them would be great (I really loved the description of Madding's house, too, and would enjoy spending some more time there). I'm generally fascinated by the godlings, and something in which several of them interact would also be great. You could also create a couple of new ones if you wanted (but the story should include one or more of the godlings that I mentioned specifically). I could even go for some domesticity with Oree and Itempas in her final days (probably should not include her actual death, though), with her being prickly and his demonstrating the lessons he's learned and yet sometimes sparking back at her. Finally, something mythic about the original three in their early days would also be lovely.

Silver Branch - Rosemary Sutcliff- I'm interested in what happened next, after the canon of novel wrapped up. Cullen in The Silver Branch fascinates me - how does he settle down to being a servant of a couple of young officers, rather than the Emperor's Fool? I'm very fond of Justin too: his shyness and devotion to his medical arts speak to me. Or you could roll the story forward to the time when they leave the Legions. Flavius would probably retire to the farm on the Downs. What about Justin? And Cullen? Perhaps at some point you could also do some Cullen POV - what he remembers of his time with Carausius, especially when Carausius sends him off on the final mission to find the two cousins.

I'll note that although I'm a huge fan of m/m relationships, I don't feel any sexual chemistry between Flavius and Justin, nor between Cullen and his master (also, see my notes in regarding relationships between people with very uneven levels of power).


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
Hee! The scenes where Badou is being all exasperated-and-competent while mending clothes are great favorites of mine, too. I was already hopelessly charmed by the boy, but that first time he whipped out the sewing kit took it to the next level. (Did you ever write up a review of Dogs elsejournal?)

Funnily enough, while I liked THTK a little better overall than TBK, the scenes involving Madding and/or his house were some of my absolute favorite parts of the second book as well...if you do ever come across any fic dealing with that outside of Yuletide, please point me at them!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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