Dear Yuletide Writer,
First, thank you for agreeing to write me a story! Whoever you are, the fact that you agreed to do this already means you’re awesome, and I can’t wait to read whatever you’re willing to write for me. I’m going to talk a lot about specifics in the letter that follows, but the only thing that really matters is that we both appreciate the same obscure fandom. We’re friends already!
In general, I like fic that follows the canon pretty closely, or that works to develop ideas underrepresented/underdeveloped within the canon. I like it when fics mirror closely the narrative voice of the original text, but I also like reading fic in somewhat experimental forms, provided thought has been put into the reason for narrative experiment. I don’t like OCs who serve no purpose, but I love it when the right well-written OC manages to bring about a deeper understanding or level of involvement between two or more canon characters.
I love romance, but I love sexual tension almost as much as (if not occasionally more than) the fulfillment, and I think that stories can be perfectly romantic if they contain no sex whatsoever (especially when we’re talking about younger protagonists). I’m a big fan of small gestures that carry large meanings, and of tension that changes by the end of the story if it’s not actually resolved, not to mention a few awkward moments along the way! When it comes to sex, if the moments before the bedroom scene sizzle enough, I don’t mind at all if the camera pans away from the act itself. However, I’m not averse to well-written sex, provided it’s not overly explicit. I won’t say I’m easily squicked, but I’m not okay with rape, abuse, violence, etc., nor with character-bashing.
As much as I love romance, I also love plot. Said plot does not have to turn on major revelations in the cosmos, and can be something as small as a character working toward a personal realization or revelation, but I do like it when it’s there. Conflict is a must, but I’m usually more interested in interpersonal conflict (two people sorting out issues they have with each other) than in galactic, world-is-ending conflict. The latter is perfectly okay as a backdrop to the former — end-of-the-world situations can produce really great character conflicts — but it’s certainly not necessary. I’m not a big fan of main character death (although there are times when it’s necessary) and in general I like “happy endings,” but I want to feel like they’ve been earned.
A random list of other, unconnected things that I love: watching characters negotiate the beginnings of relationships, John Milton (and in particular Paradise Lost), Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, any and all variations on “Beauty and the Beast,” trips to the moon, politics and politicking (anytime someone says one thing and means another, it’s a great opportunity for fiction), the limits of magic, quests, worldbuilding, literary allusions (I am the stereotypical geeky English major, except with even more geek), soul-deep friendships, snark and banter, legitimate obstacles to romantic fulfillment (none of these silly little reasons why they can’t be together, give me something meaty!), genuine awkwardness, the importance of names and naming, the intersection(s) of science, magic, and religion…I’m sure I could think of more, but for now this is probably a good list to start with. If you want more details, browse my livejournal and this tumblr (I’m a pretty obsessive tagger, so you’ll probably find things quickly), and feel free to check out the fanfic I’ve posted online.
I know some my prompts are specific. I have a hard time not being specific. But I by no means expect you to listen to me, certainly not entirely. The best stories are written by people excited about what they’re writing. If an idea doesn’t totally fit my request but is something you’re excited about, by all means take it and run with it. Be creative! This is as much your story as it is mine.
That said, onto the fandoms and prompts!
Diane Duane - Young Wizards series: Carl Romeo/Tom Swale
In Deep Wizardry, Carl tells Nita there’s only one price greater than a lifeprice. What is that price? Why does Carl know about it? And what does it have to do with his partnership with Tom? Tom/Carl slash and/or when Tom met Carl and/or college-years Tom and Carl friendship and bonding much appreciated but not required.
Basically, if you’re not comfortable with writing slash, don’t, but I would love you forever if you did, even if it’s just implied. I also love seeing interpretations of what Tom and Carl were up to before they became everyone’s favorite advisories, including how they became partners in wizardry (or even how they came into their wizardry to begin with).
Garth Nix - The Abhorsen series: Sabriel/Touchstone
Sabriel/Touchstone het, immediately after the first book ends. Teenagers in love attempting to restore the Old Kingdom agree (for some specific reason) to “take it slowly” — which is much harder than it looks. (Please, revel in the grammatical ambiguity of this sentence. I promise you, it is intentional.) Drama and comedy equally appreciated. Really, I just want some time to enjoy Sabriel and Touchstone being slightly awkward but also adorable around each other, because it makes me go awwwwwww and that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t mind some politicking about the rebuilding of the Old Kingdom, either.
Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden/Karrin Murphy/Michael Carpenter/Thomas Raith
Bookverse! Some case Harry picks up through the Paranet gets out of his hands and he has to call for some assistance. Drama and comedy appreciated in equal measure, Harry/Murphy banter and sexual tension a plus. Characters (not necessarily just Harry and Murphy) trapped in a confined space is also a plus. Really, anything with snark and banter between two or more of the listed characters is beautiful. Other characters I love include Molly, Charity, Mouse, Mister, and Bob, but feel free to pull in whoever you like to make it work.
Diane Duane - Young Wizards series: Christopher Rodriguez aka Kit/Dairine Callahan/Juanita Callahan aka Nita/Roshaun ke Nelaid
Budding romantic tensions (Kit/Nita and/or Dairine/Roshaun) + stuck in an alternate universe or historical time period (or genre?). Let the fun ensue!
This prompt was inspired by araine’s post about a Young Wizards/Pride and Prejudice crossover, which got me thinking about how great it would be to throw our favorites into new and different worlds (literally) and see how they managed. But please, throw our favorites wherever you like and see how they handle it—especially because in Young Wizards, it’s not always AU to have characters who wind up in alternate universes… Futurefic is okay, but I’d prefer to see them college-aged or younger.
Thank you, Yuletide Santa!