|Dear Yuletide Author Letter, 2015 edition
||[Oct. 18th, 2015|02:44 pm]
Mostly copied and pasted from previous years' letters, because I am old and boring and mostly don't change. *grin*|
Well, hello there, gorgeous. I am so out of fandom these days that the odds that I know you are vanishingly small, and yet, you still agreed to write for me. 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. The very best stories are the ones that the author had fun writing, so if you're feeling it, I'm certain that I will as well.
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, humiliation, underaged sex, and anything non-consensual. I love cross-generational 'ships (*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.
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.
An addendum from last year: Season Four was a MESS. If you'd like to do a Toby-centric fix-it story that would be most welcome, but feel free to completely ignore it if you prefer. I'll be so happy to have any stories about my magnificent bastard that I'll love anything.
Dark Shadows: Bloodlust (BFA)
We’ve seen Amy protecting both of her boys (and a total badass she is about it, too), but how might the brothers protect each other? I’m looking for a brotherly scene, with or without a supernatural element. No incest, please.
I really enjoyed the 1991 Dark Shadows' revival, but I didn't come to truly LOVE the Dark Shadows' universe until Big Finish had a super good sale on "Bloodlust" and I bought it as a whim. I have since bought and devoured all of Big Finish's Dark Shadows' line, but I continue to think that "Bloodlust" is a particularly brilliant project.
While I love the entire show and all the characters, I was particularly struck by Tom. He's so little, and yet he appears to be older than his fifteen year old brother. He has so few experiences, but transforming into a werewolf would definitely make one old before one's time, even if you weren't a toddler. The way he cries for his mommy during his first transformation was heartbreaking. So, how does his big brother care for and protect little Tommy when he's simultaneously so much older and so much younger than him?
As for Harry, I liked the character, but had a bit of a problem with the way his sexuality was portrayed. I was a sophomore in high school in 1985 (so exactly Harry's age, now that I think of it!), and I promise you that gay teens were not as out as Harry is. 1985 was not the start of the AIDS epidemic, but it was around then that it started to permeate the national consciousness, and there was more than a little suspicion of the gay community at that time. I feel like it does a disservice to brave teens who lived through this to suggest that a fifteen year old boy in 1985 could make out with another boy in public and have all the surrounding adults just go, "awww... How cute!" (On a sidenote, am I the only one who thinks it creepy that grown ups are simpering over a teen-aged romance?) Perhaps the case could be made that the citizens of Collinsport can accept ANYTHING, so a gay teen doesn't seem that unusual, but that pathologizes homosexuality in a way that REALLY churns my stomach. So, great character with a great backstory that could be handled much better in fanfiction.
As for the actual story, I'm not quite certain what I'm looking for. I love both brothers, would love to see them interact, and would love to see each protect the other from his vulnerabilities. Perhaps some kids are teasing Tom for being homeschooled (and in a tiny town with probably fewer than a hundred teenagers, that would definitely be noticed!), or a Momma's boy, or for having odd gaps in his knowledge? Perhaps Harry is bullied for his British accent or for his relationship with Cody? Perhaps each are targeted for living at Collinswood, the center of the town's love-hate relationship with the Collinses? There are several areas of conflict that occur to me (and hopefully to you as well), and I'd just like to see the brothers cover each other's backs. I'm sorry if I'm a bit vague on this, but I'm certain that you'll come up with something fantastic anyway.
Calvin and Hobbes: The Movie (Trailer) | Gritty Reboots
I love this trailer. Like, an astounding amount. The idea of that Calvin warps reality rather than simply imagining things totally blows my mind. An elaboration of any scene hinted at during this two minutes of perfection would be loved and cherished.
There is absolutely NOTHING you could possibly do with this canon that I wouldn't love. Every single scene from this "trailer" is suggestive of a larger story line, and every one of these story lines is completely fascinating. Does Calvin use his ability to warp reality to woo Susie? Is the psychologist afraid of Calvin? Do Calvin's parents realize that their son isn't quite human? AND WHAT HAPPENED TO HOBBES?!?!? I'm certain that whatever you do, be it a small quiet scene or a huge epic, it will be fantastic.
If you matched on something else, you really should invest two minutes of your life to have your mind blown. Besides, if you feel like you're stuck (and I SO hope that doesn't happen to you!), you can spend a whole 120 seconds to ingest the entirety of a new canon. It's here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=17qyaXOFZXg
Scrotal Recall (TV)
Evie seems to dislike Jane more than any of Dylan’s other girlfriends; tell me why. I’d love it if their antagonism were to pre-date Dylan, or if it were unrelated to him in any way. I know that it's pretty much impossible to completely meet the Bechdel Rule when two female characters are both interested in the the same man, but if you could get Bechdel-adjacent, that would be super neat.
Despite the dreadful title, I loved "Scrotal Recall." Half HIMYM and half "Four Weddings and a Funeral," but with unfailingly sympathetic main characters equals a big YAY for me. One thing that I would have liked, however, was a better exploration of Evie's character. I understand why we didn't get it in the show--Dylan is the POV character, and a main driving force of the series is that he doesn't really see Evie until it's too late--but fanfic can do what the show can not, so what the hey!
I requested Evie and Jane because I think a look at Evie's dislike of Jane might be an interesting glimpse at what motivates her (other than her crush on Dylan), but feel free to dump Jane if a different Evie-centric bunny strikes you. On the other hand, the more I think of it, a Jane-centric bunny might be really interesting as well. I mean, what on earth does Dylan see in her? Dylan might be a tiny bit dim, but he isn't shallow or straight-up stupid, so there has to be something. So, yeah, I'd love to see a Bechdel-ish story with Jane and Evie, but please don't feel restricted by the need to include both characters if you have a better idea for a story that works better for one character by herself.
Jago & Litefoot
Does Ellie ever get her spin-off? Any Ellie-centric story would be loved and cherished. Perhaps our two esteemed gentlemen are sidekicks for HER mystery? Or perhaps she goes off and has an adventure all on her own that is even better than one of Jago and Litefoot's? I adore both J&L, but I almost always have a vague yearning for more Ellie at the end of each of their adventures; perhaps you could fix that for me?
This one is a last minute addition, so please bear with me if this elaboration seems a bit unfocused. The other four requests are all ones that I've been thinking about for weeks (or months. or years), but this just occurred to me a few scant hours before sign-ups closed.
I was listening to the latest J&L boxset and thinking the same thing I do every time I listen to one of their stories: "I love Ellie. She's so kind and smart and brave and terrific... and so tragically underused. I know that Lisa Bowerman needs to concentrate on directing, but I wish that she would pull in a guest director for a change so that we could have an Ellie-centric story." But then, today, I had a new thought: "Gee, I wonder if there might possibly be a seasonal fic exchange that could possibly lead to such a story...?" Since sign ups are still open for six hours or so, I went for it!
As for prompts....
In early days, back when Ellie was living at Litefoot's house while he searched for a cure to her vampirism, I kind of vaguely 'shipped them. This ended when we got strong hints that George was gay, but I still enjoy the friendship between the two of them. And her friendship with Jago! And Leela! And Quick! And all of her bar patrons! Basically, she could be anybody's best friend and I'd go "yayyyy!!!!" Though speaking of vampirism, Ellie's effective immortality has never been dealt with to my satisfaction; perhaps there's a story there? I don't know if you're caught up with the current season of Doctor Who (and there's no reason that you should be!), but there could be a very interesting story with Ellie meeting Ashildr. (If you're comfortable writing femslash, I would read Ellie/Ashildr with GREAT INTEREST. Ahem!) Or perhaps Victorian Torchwood takes an interest in Ellie? Or twenty first century Torchwood? Or Ellie meets a certain time-traveling archaeologist? Or the other time-traveling archaeologist? I am so not picky with this fandom, you have no idea. I just want MOAR ELLIE. *grin*
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 fannish social media.