Thank you for making shalach manot (that's what we called it, anyway) for me! I hope you have a good time creating my gifts. I'm posting a pile of preferences right now, they're all optional, of course. Please don't feel intimidated by the wall of words! It's meant to help (I know I freak out when I have no idea what my recipient likes and doesn't), and you can ignore what doesn't work for you.
I will add some more info about what I like about my requested canons as soon as I can.
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
- 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":
- family-of-choice, nakama, or True Companions
- cynics with secretly soft hearts
- 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
- senses of smell and touch and memories attached to them
- food descriptions: "food porn"
- an autumn leaf or item of clothing as the only bit of color in a bleak landscape
- 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 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
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).