opalmatrix (opalmatrix) wrote,

Dear Silent Night Author - COMPLETE AT LAST

Thank you for writing for me! I will add some more specifics in the next few days. For now, have a pile of preferences as well. Please don't feel intimidated by the wall of words! It's meant to help, and you can ignore what doesn't work for you.

About the Prompts

  1. I actually like Sigrun, and I think she has genuine affection for Tuuri. What if it were more than that? I do have a squick for people abusing a superior social position, especially for sexual favors, so it would be even more cool for me if Sigrun's revelation of her interest in Tuuri would make her feel vulnerable in a way that she isn't with anyone else. And I like Tuuri, and I'm willing to bet that Onni has been as overprotective with her in the matter of romance as he has been with her for just about everything else, so it might be liberating for her to be able to act on her feelings at last. And giant tanks, OMG, what's not to like? (Really: I was the kid who built model airplanes with Dad.)
  2. I put magical education in particular, but really, anything of Onni having to teach his sister and cousin the ways of the world when he himself is so damn broken by whatever led him to being in charge of them. And of course, I'd love to see how mages like Onni and Lalli live and are regarded in their militarized community, where young teens such as Lalli (who looks to be barely 14 in that scene) are already doing crucial tasks to protect their people.
  3. So most of the time I would never tell an artist/storyteller like Minna how to do anything, but I'd feel like she's missing out on a great opportunity for Tuuri/Reynir friendship. Reynir wants to know about being a mage, and neither Onni nor Lalli has been responsive to his overtures. Also, he's a real fish out of water with this crew. Meanwhile, Tuuri knows a lot about being a friend/cousin/sister to a pair of prickly boys. I think she could help him fill in some of the gaps. She might tease him, but I don't think she'd be mean about it. I'd like to see them becoming friends.


I Like:

  • Strong characterization (including character-appropriate dialog: no earthy, uneducated characters using $50 words)
  • Positive emotional payoffs that are well-earned
  • Passions that are strong without being mushy/fluffy
  • Moments of realization — satori
  • Friendships - although I am a romantic person, not every relationship must be romantic (I do like the trope of friends becoming lovers, however)
  • Wry and even dark humor in the course of a more serious story
  • And I like any of the following "cool bits":
    • hurt-comfort
    • family-of-choice, nakama, or True Companions
    • senses of smell and touch and memories attached to them
    • being cozy indoors when it's rainy or snowing
    • warm and oversized bathrobes/dressing gowns or sweaters/jerseys
    • the feeling of warm garments or blankets (especially if the item belongs to someone else significant to the character who ends up wearing it)
    • water running over pebbles or stones
    • brushing long hair or riffling fingers through short hair
    • drops of water or snowflakes clinging to hair and/or skin
    • food descriptions: "food porn"
    • kissing the inside of the elbow or the base of the throat
    • sudden realizations of feelings for another, or another's feelings for the POV character (doesn't have to be romantic: can be friendship, or how much someone needs someone else, or anything of that sort)
    • someone's profile or entire form silhouetted against the light
    • A motif, like a theme or a memory or an actual visual object, from the canon work that's echoed unexpectedly in the story

I Don't Like:

  • Sickly-sweet, coy, cutesy romantic stuff (anything in the "tee-hee-hee, is he looking at me?" category is definitely out)
  • 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
  • Characters acting out of character, especially if the purpose is to force them into a relationship (doubly bad if that relationship is romantic or sexual)
  • By-the-numbers, every-action-described sex. Note that actual sex is fine (I love me some sexy stories) — just don't like it when the descriptions turn into a set of exact stage directions.
  • Mpreg, rape, forced sex (including sex pollen and fuck-or-die), hatesex. Dubcon is OK, especially the sort when the reluctant partner really wants the other person but is just not quite feeling ready yet or doesn't think se wants it in this particular way but gets off on it anyway.
  • Humiliation or betrayal (without a damn good plot reason) of a character by a friend or lover

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).

Tags: dear author, silent night exchange
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