|Dear Yuletide Writer
||[Sep. 30th, 2014|06:13 pm]
HELLO, you wonderful person, you! Greetings and salutations, and a bazillion thanks! I may not know your name, but I know that you are cool since you like at least one of the things that I love, and I know that you are kind enough to write for a stranger. Yay you! You rock muchly, and I guarantee that your efforts will be appreciated.
Despite the prompts that I wrote in my sign up or that I give here, I'm a big believer in optional details are optional. My first yuletide (a decade ago now! Gracious!), I followed a prompt that just wasn't for me because I didn't know about the whole optional thing, and what emerged was the worst story I ever wrote. I keep it around as an abject lesson to myself: 1) don't write anything that goes against my sense of the characters; and 2) stress to any and all future writers that they should never write something for me if they're just not feeling it. It's FINE if your head canon is completely different from mine; if you believe in your story, I'm certain that you can sell it to me.
As for general likes and dislikes, I'm pretty easy. I kind of prefer gen and het, but am usually willing to be sold on slash or femslash if there's a compelling or interesting couple. Mixed threesomes are always welcome if they work within the story. I lean more towards the G and PG range, but will be delighted with a NC-17 story if you feel that your characters want to go there. I'm squicked by marijuana and other drugs, underaged sex, and anything non-consensual. I love cross-generational 'ships (ahem. *cough*Counter-Measures*cough*), but other than that, kinks don't sound all that appealing on Christmas morning and I'd prefer that you pass them by if your story allows you to do so.
The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot
I don't believe that the fiftieth anniversary was the only time these three put away their egos and worked together. Please tell me of another occasion they joined forces to achieve something truly pointless.
I love this little thingy, however you choose to characterize it. I think of it as RPF crackfic, set in an alternate universe where everyone from the lowest secretary all the way up to Sir Ian McKellen are raging egomaniacs. In fact, it's the unshakeable self-centeredness of each character that gives the Five(ish) Doctors its oddball charm, and I'd love it if you could pull that out. Another thing that I love about this show is that the three Doctors all seem to have trouble disconnecting themselves from their character. I think that can happen often, but what is really intriguing here is that on some level, they all seem to think that they're the same person, even as each wallows in his own egotism. It works precisely because it seems like it shouldn't. :)
I have a prompt, but I'm not overly wed to it. For this fandom, it's more about what I DON'T want. I really don't want any shippiness of any kind, and I don't want RPF. I know that's a weird thing to say when the listed characters are "Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Peter Davison," but I just don't believe that the characterizations seen in this show have much to do with their real life personas. Based upon interviews I've seen and heard on Big Finish, Colin Baker seems like a helluva nice guy, but in Five(ish) Doctors, he traps his family and forces them to watch new DVD extras. This strikes me as hysterical (creepy, true, but still hysterical) and it's THIS Colin that I want to see. Similarly, Sylvester McCoy comes across as very self-deprecating, not a guy who would wear a Hobbit shirt every single day of his life. Peter Davison seems like he just doesn't care that much, which is why I don't particularly enjoy his BF interviews, but the obsession he shows in Five(ish) Doctors is truly awe-inspiring. If you want to bring in RPF factoids, that's fine, but please stick to the characterizations we see in Five(ish) because THAT is the fandom that I'm holding close to my heart this year.
People always mistake Toby and his actions. They distrust him when he's doing the right thing, they rage at him when he's hurt, and they sympathize with him when he's just done something absolutely monstrous. I'd love a story in which somebody sees him for what he truly is (even if that somebody is just himself). I'd be equally delighted with Toby as a woobie or as an evil puppeteer, because honestly, he's kind of both.
There are a lot of things to love about "Counter-Measures," and one of the biggest are the two awesome female characters. (Well, perhaps, one and a half. The writing for Allison is a bit uneven...) So, of course, I'm going to request a privileged white male. Sorry about that, but if it makes you feel any better, I do truly love Sir Toby and will adore whatever you do with him.
In my defense, Sir Toby is fascinating, or at least I think he is. The other characters don't trust him, but the audience can see that he is both kinder AND more ruthless than anyone suspects. I love that he's perfectly at home in the chauvinistic world of Cold War spies, and yet has no problem interacting with highly intelligent and capable women. In fact, he seems to prefer them to the slightly dumb power brokers that he has to deal with in order to keep Counter-Measures running. I also love how his faith is an integral part of his character, and how this is shown in subtle and understated ways.
I'm open to pretty much anything that focuses upon Toby. Do you want to look at his activities before Counter-Measure? Great! His rocky relationship with his ex-wife? Cool! Some moody, introspective thing set after "The Fifth Citadel" or "Sins of the Fathers"? Love! An examination of his relationship(s) with one or more of the members of his team? Freaking awesome! If you do decide to go this last route, I have some thoughts about Counter-Measures relationships that you are free to use or ignore as you like.
1) Toby clearly doesn't enjoy the company of people who are less intelligent than him (and sadly, Chunky Gilmore definitely falls within that category!), and yet he and Ian seem to have come to some level of mutual respect. How did this come about? I really can't see them being slashy due to the difference in intelligence, but a friendship story could be interesting. 2) I see him as being a mentor to Allison, but without the protectiveness that such a relationship normally engenders. Does he do more for her than we, the listeners, are privy to? Also, I was intrigued when he said that he prayed for Allison every night after she was hurt in "The Forgotten Village." Rachel dismissed that statement, but it seemed to me to indicate a lot of repressed feelings, and I wondered if he always felt more responsible for the well-being of his youngest team member than he does for the others. 3) I saw LOTS of 'shippy possibilities between Toby and Rachel in the first first two seasons, before BF decided to cram Rachel/Ian down our throats in the third season. I like Ian, but he's just not smart enough for Rachel, and I don't see that ending well. Toby, on the other hand, has a subtlety that seemed to intrigue Rachel and might make them work. If you feel up to fixing series three, or perhaps just going AU after series two, that would be fabulous! You don't have to take them to a 'shippy place if you don't see it yourself, but please don't leave Rachel screaming at him for every little thing. 4) Toby seems to prefer the company of intelligent women to that of men, but I could definitely see him in a hate-sex type relationship with Templeton. (This is not to say that they have to actually be having sex; an uncomfortable sexual tension can also be fascinating when the characters refuse to act upon it.)
The only firm request that I have for this fandom is that you either treat Toby's faith respectfully, or you ignore it altogether. It's fine if you have nothing good to say about Catholicism, but just like kinky sex, an "oh look how stupid Christians are" story just isn't what I want to read on Christmas morning. If, on the other hand, you feel up to respectfully looking at how his faith has molded him in subtle ways, I'd love to read that story.
The Douchey Guy from "First World Problems" also has fannish problems… particularly the Grammar Nazi from "Word Crimes."
This is a great album, but the videos that came out to promote the album move it from "great" to "perfect," in my opinion. The desire for fanfic, however, didn't originate in either the album or the videos, but rather in a little "making of" thingy that came out at the same time as "First World Problems." In it, Weird Al is careful to explain that the character in that song is NOT HIM, and he asked the director to make that clear by giving him the douchiest possible costume. That got me to thinking: what if every Weird Al song has a completely different character? While I'm certain that Al does identify with some of the narrators in his songs, I just couldn't stop thinking of how all the characters might interact, and which ones might fight with others. I was especially tickled to consider how the Douchey Guy from FWP, with all his anger management issues, would interact with the sarcastic and troll-tastic Grammar Nazi from "Word Crimes," especially if they never came face-to-face but only squabbled over the internet. This also has the additional value in that you can give distinctive handles to each character rather than inventing a name for him, and there is no problem from the fact that each of the characters look remarkably similar to each other. *grin* Also, both of these characters are complete jerks, so you can feel free to do whatever mean thing you might like to them and it will be fine with me.
I threw out the idea of "fannish problems" because it seems like the kind of meta thing that I love to read but can't write myself, no matter how hard I try. If you too are sadly short on the meta skills, fear not! I will be tickled pink with any interactions you can concoct. Just have Douchey Guy getting insanely angry and Grammar Nazi trolling him, and I'm certain that it will be hilarious. If, on the other hand, you are cleverer than I, here are some "fannish problem" bunnies, that you are free to use or ignore. DG is angry that people aren't writing in his favorite fandom! Or that they don't like his OTP. Or that a favorite writer doesn't update his or her fic because of real life issues. Or possibly DG joins a ficathon and is enraged at every deadline that doesn't work for him, not to mention the utter unfairness of not receiving a story just because he flaked out on his own assignment. *wry grin* I've been out of fandom for several years, but I've seen all of these and even committed one or two of these dickish crimes myself because I simply wasn't thinking, and I suspect that I'm not alone in that. I love to laugh at myself, so all of these scenarios amuse me. Or perhaps you'd like to get more specific, and have DG join yuletide! I see lots of places where he could make an ass out of himself there, with the "Word Crimes" guy there to call him out each time. If you'd like to turn this in to a cross-over with yuletide RPF, I may beg you to marry me! I don't know if fandom_wank is still a thing (I haven't been there for years), but that might make another brilliant crossover if you feel up to it. Also, if you'd like to include other Weird Al characters from this or other albums, neat-o! Basically, whatever amuses you will almost certainly amuse me and make for a very happy yuletide.
Here is a link to both "First World Problems" and the making-of thingamajob that I mentioned earlier. And here is everything you need to know about the Grammar Nazi. That's it. You now have the complete canon! :)
Edited to Add: I just now found an interesting, thinky article about the nature of "douchiness." Since that is the term Al uses to describe his character in "First World Problems," this article is actually kind of useful for sorting out who the character is. But only if you feel like reading it; totally not necessary if you don't.
A Fine Romance
The chances that we matched on this one are vanishingly small, but if we did, OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW AWESOME IT IS THAT SOMEBODY ACTUALLY NOMINATED THIS SHOW?!?! *flails and hyper-ventilates excitedly*
I'm under control now. Really I am. I can even give my request now:
Some future event (wedding, surprise birthday party, birth of a child, parent-teacher conference, whatever else you can think of) turns in to a complete shambles. Mike and Laura wouldn't have it any other way.
I get super bored when the two prettiest people in the room get together. I am always more interested when a story has the courage to focus upon an unusual couple, one in which each person has more going for him or her than just a perfect body and perfect hair. But I can't think of another show like AFR, where both people are so FLAWED that they wind up being perfect for each other. They're both so awkward, and yet so comfortable with their awkwardness that my humiliation squick never kicks in.
I love Mike and Laura best when they are at their most awkward. Two people who are so socially maladapted that they could never fit with anybody else = love to me. The man who got left on a bus, screamed out a marriage proposal and screwed up his first delivery of flowers is never going to do things correctly; Laura, on the other hand, is never going to say or hear things correctly, so conflict is inevitable. They mess things up, but they continue loving each other and that melts me. I don't care what plot you come up with, I just want to see their highly imperfect romance in action. Please, don't have Laura running away at the end, though. While a perfect ending for these two would be the worst thing you could possibly do, having them apart would be the second worst. They like to stick together in a state of vague discontent; that's where they're happiest.
One further note: I also super love Laura's father. He isn't a nominated character, but if you can think of a way to include him, that would be awesome. If you don't want to, however, I will totally love your story anyway.
In the end, Santa, the one thing that will make me happiest is if YOU have fun writing for me. If you twist your view of canon to match mine, you won't have fun writing and that usually shows in the final story. Please, write something that you enjoy and you can feel proud of, and I can just about guarantee that I will adore it. Whatever else you do, don't stress out on my account!
On a side note, I don't use my personal journal at all any more. There's no reason for you to wade through my journal because there will be nothing for you to find for the last several years. (Don't worry. There was no wank and you haven't been assigned a drama queen. I just realized that I needed to pay more attention to my personal life than my on-line one, and the only way I could do that was go cold turkey from my way too incredibly nice f'list. If I had only filled my f'list with mean people, I could have kept it up and ignored everyone. Sadly, fandom is filled with far too many wonderful people, and I have a somewhat addictive personality...) The only current things you'll find on me are recent fanfics, and those are all here in my fanfic journal. I apologize if you were looking forward to the stalking...