blindmadness: (scene: developing prints)
i believe in you my soul ([personal profile] blindmadness) wrote2014-10-30 10:09 am

Dear Yuletide Author,

Hello there! I don't even know you (probably), but we share a love of at least one thing, and that's enough to make you awesome in my book! Let's be friends, when all this madness is over.

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love getting gifts in any form, including fic -- just the fact that somebody is putting something together with me in mind delights me more than pretty much anything else. So basically, I am already grateful that you exist and are writing a thing for me, and anything else is really just extra. Thank you so much! You're great, seriously. ♥

Now, let's get down to business! Broadly speaking, things that I love: relationship dynamics (I've requested almost all of these fandoms due to a fondness for how the characters relate to one another, and I always want to see that thoroughly explored) and happy endings (I will also accept "not necessarily happy but hopeful and/or uplifting," so that I can imagine a happy ending, but I really don't want anything overtly sad to go down without being made better!). Things that I could do without: serious, lasting tragedy (e.g., no rape, character death, torture, etc. etc., anything that would take serious long-term recovery) and serious real-world issues not explored in canon. (To clarify: in the Raven Cycle, Adam has been abused and is still working through it, so it's okay to talk about it; in The Princess and the Frog, Tiana has faced [subtextual] racism, so it's okay to allude to that. But I don't really want to read about any additional institutional discrimination -- especially misogyny and ESPECIALLY homophobia!! -- even if it's explicitly condemned in-universe. I'd really, really like for Yuletide to be my happy place!)

Also, I really don't see this being an issue, but just in case: I have a big ol' needle phobia, so please keep them out of the story. I can be okay with a quick mention of them if it's necessary, as long as you just make it brief and please, please warn for it. Thank you for your consideration!!

Here is a more general list of things I like: banter, UST/pining/slow burns, people being really really dumb about their feelings and taking ages to get their shit together, awesome ladies!!!, little nods to canon that will make me kick my feet in glee, fantasy, really ridiculous tropey gross romance-novel/rom-com scenarios, found families, cute animals, and my favorite characters/people BEING HAPPY!!!

Things I'm not a big fan of: misogyny in m/m relationships, misogynistic dirty talk, noncon/dubcon, character-bashing of characters not universally agreed upon as being terrible, excessive jealousy/possessiveness, disregarding of platonic/familial/non-romantic relationships that are super important in canon in favor of romantic relationships, first- or second-person POV, heavy kink, and although I mentioned my love of gross romantic tropes above, I genuinely do not enjoy the miscommunication trope -- which is to say, I'm totally cool with characters who are canonically terrible at talking about their feelings continuing to be terrible at doing so, but if the conflict could have been resolved with a single, clear, not-difficult-to-utter statement of clarification, rest assured I am gently beating my head against the wall at the entire thing.

Here's a link to last year's letter, with the caveat that since I'm requesting very different fandoms (uh, mostly), the lists are differently tailored. And I have more specific DW/DNWs for each one anyway, so please refer to the lists below accordingly! (e.g., for some fandoms I'm okay with/specifically want AUs, for some I'd love porn but for others I really don't want it, etc.)

And, again, I'm mostly over at Tumblr these days, although I appear to have taken an impromptu several-month hiatus (WHOOPS). Still, feel more than free to browse and peer through my fandom tags, and do with them what you will! ♥

One final note: I don't think this will be an issue for the other fandoms (er, for obvious reasons), but if you are planning on reading the Raven Cycle books, please do not read that chunk of this letter because I will openly discuss spoilers up through the third book. If you're not planning on reading them, THAT IS NOT A CORRECT DECISION. YOU SHOULD READ THEM. GO ON, I'LL WAIT.

Ahem. Anyway! ON TO THE FANDOMS.

Tennis RPF
• Novak Djokovic
Give me literally anything with Djokovic and I will be happy! Seriously, I mean it. Relationship fic (Nadal or Murray preferred, but I'll take Federer or Jelena or any other Serb, or ANYONE, I MEAN IT), introspective gen, Nole going about his day and bantering with people and kicking ass at tennis and coming home to play with his baby son... seriously, ANYTHING that brings more positive Nole-centric fic into the world is all I ask. I just want him to be happy and I want to read about it. THAT IS ALL.

So! For this one, I am going to be hella lazy (or efficient, if you want to be positive about it!) and just link to what I wrote for this fandom last year. Because LITERALLY NOTHING HAS CHANGED. EVERYTHING THERE STILL GOES. GIVE ME HAPPY NOLE, AND I WILL BE A HAPPY CAMPER.

A few addendums: I would be exceedingly pleased to get anything explicit for this fandom -- makeouts, sex, what have you -- but it's certainly not a requirement; and as I'm writing this, BABY STEFAN IS A FEW DAYS OLD AND I'M SO EXCITED!!!, so if you go gen or Novak/Jelena, I'd be utterly delighted to see any father feelings or baby cameos. (Or a baby with anyone else, either, quite honestly. I'm just having very fluffy feelings about Nole the family man right now.) As I said last year, I'll give a tentative green light to AUs, although that wouldn't be my preference; also I think this fandom is excellently suited for pretty much whatever super gross romcom tropey shit you want to pile onto it!! (I say "super gross" with all affection, of course. THE GROSSER THE BETTER, TBH.)

And I continue to volunteer to be my own Serbpicker. I'LL DO IT. I DON'T CARE.

Princess and the Frog (2009)
• Tiana, Prince Naveen
I would absolutely adore a continuation of canon -- anything that explores how these two make it work! Tell me about their rebuilding/opening of the restaurant, or Tiana meeting Naveen's parents, or the wedding ceremony, or what happens with the crown of Maldonia, or THEIR KIDS???

Failing that, I love their dynamic so, so much, so pretty much any AU in which I get to read about them snarking at each other and falling in love will thrill me to the bone.

Oh man, did I ever love this movie! I was so, so excited for it when it was first announced, because Disney animation renaissance! And then I watched it, and I adored it, and I was stunned by the relatively lukewarm reception and the cooling feelings people have seemed to have towards it. Because, guess what, I still love it A LOT. It's 10000% held up for me upon many, many repeat viewings.

Seriously, what's not to love? A return to traditional animation in a lush setting, an incredibly fun take on a fairy tale, catchy music, an awesomely creepy villain, great classic sidekicks (let's not talk about my floods of tears over Ray... NO, SERIOUSLY, LET'S NOT, I'LL START AGAIN IS2G), and above all, a love story I LOVED with characters I ADORED. Tiana is amazing -- hardworking, clever, hilarious, stubborn, kind-hearted -- and Naveen is DELIGHTFUL, with so many layers of charm and sweetness. And I absolutely could not get enough of their dynamic, the sharp back-and-forth that grows affectionate, how quickly they develop inside jokes and a rapid-fire banter, and the way they irrevocably change one another. And my favorite thing of all was that while Tiana relaxed and eased up because of Naveen, it was Naveen who actually became a better person because of Tiana -- less aimless, more considerate, and with a real purpose. I LOVE IT. I LOVE THEM. ♥__♥

All of this means that, as I said, since I loved the movie so dearly, an extension of canon would make me so, so happy. What happens next for this glorious couple?! Detail me details of their acquisition and rebuilding of the restaurant, or the opening night, or a day-in-the-life-type scenario. Or meeting the in-laws -- did Tiana's mother just FUCKING ADORE Naveen, and were Naveen's parents SO IMPRESSED that he managed to land someone as fantastic as Tiana?! Tell me about their wedding!!! Tell me how the issue of Maldonian succession was resolved!! Next-gen stories are also my everything, so if you want to tell me about their kids, too, I will seriously love you forever.

Alternately, again, the Tiana/Naveen dynamic is what I want to see most, so if you want to stick them in an AU setting and let me watch how their courtship plays out, I would enjoy that oh so very much! I'm so, so flexible with my AUs for this one. Any kind of modern-day -- high school, college, academia, haute cuisine, rival bookstore owners, undercover royalty, etc. etc.? IN SPACE? High fantasy? Hogwarts, with Head Girl Tiana repeatedly sending popular pureblood Naveen to detention??? (I will accept Tiana in Hufflepuff or Slytherin and Naveen in Gryffindor or a talented-but-lazy Ravenclaw.) Pretty much any other fictional universe with which I'm familiar? PERHAPS A FEMALE NAVEEN, EVEN? The possibilities are endless here, my friend, and I am greenlighting every single one. (If you do go AU, this is also a good fandom for the GROSS TROPEY ROMCOM SHIT. GIVE IT TO ME. GIVE ME ALL OF IT.) (Also, I obviously love pretty much everyone in this movie, so however you decide to work anyone else in in an AU setting will fascinate me. Be as creative as you want here, seriously.)

Pretty much the one thing I would not like to see for this fandom is porn; I just can't do it, friends. I will accept heavy makeouts and allusions to any banging that might be going on, but that's all I want to see, please and thank you!

Midsummer Night's Dream - Shakespeare
• Helena, Hermia, Demetrius, Lysander
AUs of classic stories are my absolute lifeblood, so that is what I would most like to see here. Literally anything will delight me. Modern-day (high school, college, nightclub, magical bookstore, urban fantasy in a major metropolitan city)? Space? High fantasy? Different historical era? Different fictional universe? Seriously, bring it the fuck on. (Cameos from other Shakespeare plays would please me immensely but are obviously not required.)

And/or I would delight to read any queering of the canon pairings. Give me an all-female or all-male or rule-63 or basically ANY gender combination. Give me f/f and m/m or a four-way poly relationship. I'd love to read pretty much anything here that shakes up the original pairings!

Okay, so if you asked me to name my top five Shakespeare plays, this one might sneak in at the very end, or it might not, depending on the mood I'm in. (For the record, my top three are Hamlet, Richard III, and Much Ado About Nothing. The other two slots are more up in the air.) But Midsummer is the only full Shakespeare play I've ever actually been in (I was Flute and I had a hell of a time, let me tell you), so I have especially warm fuzzy memories of it, and I know the script and story pretty damn well, so it definitely holds a special place in my heart.

I love how adaptable the story is, how utterly bizarre it is, how hilarious it is, and how many directions you can go with it. I've seen it taken on in various forms of media, I've seen stagings that play it more straight and stagings that play fast and loose, I've seen stagings with '90s costumes and stagings with a female Oberon and I haven't been living under a Tumblr rock so of course I've seen the famous Oberon/Puck gifs (and I AM SUCH A FAN HOLY SHIT). It's such a bizarre but fun play, and it is absolutely rife for adaptation.

I picked the four main characters here specifically for reasons I'll get into in a minute, but also because they're the heart of the actual physical story and the main people that I'd like to see involved. The Rude Mechanicals make me laugh and the fairies are fascinating, and I'd be happiest with any sort of full transposition of the story that involves everyone (or anyone else you choose to keep in addition to these four), but if you have to pick elements to fall by the wayside or to use as plot devices rather than the center, that's where I'd rather you make the sacrifices and keep the story of the four lovers intact.

You can pretty much sell me on anything with "it's an adaptation of [insert classic story here]," so literally any AU of this will at least catch my interest and probably 100% work for me. I won't rehash the list I gave above, but SERIOUSLY, GO NUTS. There's so, so much to be done! If forced to pick a favorite direction, I'd say that any sort of urban fantasy/cyberpunk/magical-modern fusion would be my preferred setting of choice, but honestly I will take ANYTHING. Whatever you feel like writing most and think you can have the most fun with -- if you're enjoying yourself as you write it (and chuckling at your own cleverness for [insert whatever decision you're particularly proud of]), I'll definitely enjoy reading it. (As I said above, too, any and all references to/cameos from other Shakespeare characters and/or works is an exceedingly delightful bonus. By no means necessary for my enjoyment, and don't force it if you're not feeling it, but if you can think of something that works, go for it.)

The other thing I'd love to see here (and the other reason I picked these characters) is any, ANY kind of queering of the main narrative. Helena/Hermia and Demetrius/Lysander? All of them are ladies (and/or nonbinary in any way)? (I'd also read all-of-them-are-dudes quite happily, but let's be real, everything's better with more ladies.) Any combination of romantic-sexual relationships among the four of them? YES TO ALL. Any shaking up of the traditional het dynamics will delight me deeply, and is really what I want out of this story more than anything. (Having said that, if for some reason you REALLY can't see yourself doing that and would rather write a straight no-alterations AU, I'll definitely still read and enjoy it. I would really, really love the queering aspect, too, but I'll understand if for whatever reason that doesn't work for you!)

And, finally, go as all-out explicit as the hell you want on this one. I'll even loosen my kink standards if you want to write really detailed sex, as long as that's not the focus of the story or sex as a whole (e.g., I'd rather not read a full BDSM-based AU). But go nuts on whatever sex acts you want these folks to be up to. I'll probably be into it!

Raven Cycle - Maggie Stiefvater
• Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish, Richard Gansey III, Blue Sargent
I would most love to read a fic which simultaneously has a continuation of the Glendower quest or just the gang going about their regular lives, and explores the romantic undercurrents going on with everyone. Basically I want anything that keeps the tenor of the series' adventures but also highlights the slow build of Gansey/Blue and Adam/Ronan -- and I need it to be SLOW, AGONIZINGLY SLOW, MAKE ME WAIT FOR IT.

OH LORD. Okay. I never expected these books to happen to me SO MUCH, but here they are, and here I am, and I am crying for the rest of my life.

Here is my Raven Cycle story: last month, a Tumblr I follow posted about them, so I read a summary, thought "oh, sounds interesting!", and checked the first two books out of the library. I started reading The Raven Boys, liked it a lot, and then got to Chapter 36 while in a public place and started crying, which escalated into a deeply embarrassing complete tearful breakdown over the next few chapters (with strangers actually approaching me to make sure I was okay; "I'M FINE, I SWEAR, IT'S THE BOOK, I'M OKAY"). When I finished it, I pre-reserved Blue Lily, Lily Blue at the library. By the time I finished reading The Dream Thieves, I had preordered it instead and bought both books, then read them again right before the release date, then spent roughly 5-6 hours devouring Blue Lily, Lily Blue the day it came out, and I am rereading it again now, AND I WAS NEVER OKAY AGAIN, THE END!!!

I pretty much love everything about these books -- the prose, the atmosphere, the setting, the bizarre magic, the plot -- but the MAIN reason that I will never be okay is the characters!!! and their relationships!!!! Ugh, I love EVERYONE, SO MUCH. I WANT TO BE THEIR FRIEND AND I WANT TO GIVE THEM ALL HUGS AND I WANT TO MAKE OUT WITH BLUE (THE TRUE LOVE PROPHECY IS GENDER-SPECIFIC, RIGHT??? SURELY IT'S SAFE FOR ME). It seriously took me a very long time to even figure out that I HAD a favorite character (out of the boys, that is, because Blue Sargent is my forever queen) because I love them all SO MUCH. (For the record, it's Gansey. Gansey is my everything.) And every single relationship in the series is so fascinating to me, I want to roll around on a bed made out of every time one of them thinks about somebody else because it's all so good!!!

Having said that, I think it's pretty clear that I am 100% a-okay with any other characters making significant appearances in the story (the one exception being Kavinsky; I am really, really not on board with Kavinsky, who I thought was an interesting character and served an important purpose and am so, so very glad is out of the picture for good). The main reason I've picked these four specifically is threefold: they are, by any definition, the main characters (I love, love, love Noah, but he's clearly less main than the others); they relate to one another in really clear, definable ways, and you can't write a story about the relationship between any two of them without bringing at least one of the others into it (and I wouldn't at all want to read, say, any Adam/Ronan that ignores the importance of Gansey to both of their lives); and, of course, I ship the things. I ship the things SO MUCH.

Having said that, it is totally okay if you don't ship the things (or if you only ship half of the things, I'll take whatever!), because I meant what I said about loving any combination of relationships among these characters. Broken down with these four, it means that while I'd most love to read about Gansey/Blue and Adam/Ronan, I am also reduced to tears merely by thinking about Gansey and Ronan's relationship, fascinated and compelled and delighted by the burgeoning friendship between Ronan and Blue, so very here for seeing the simultaneous ease and subtle tension with which Adam and Blue settle into platonic friendship, and clutching at my heart with the simultaneous unbreakable bond and fragile minefield that is Adam and Gansey's friendship. If any of those seems more compelling to you, please feel more than free to go for it as a focus -- I'd most love to see all four characters given their time in the sun, but I do love them all, so please don't feel too badly if you want to shine the light on two or three of them more so.

My ideal story, as I said above, would be a story with some kind of plot -- be it Glendower-related or more day-in-the-life -- that gives a subtle spotlight to the relationships between the characters (basically the way the books do it; the relationships are clearly vital to the story, but they're not the main plot). This is a deviation from my usual preferences; generally if I love relationships, I want to read about just them, and nothing makes me happier than fic dedicated entirely to people figuring those relationships out. This series is definitely different for me in that my ships have SO MUCH to work through -- not only do I definitely not want to read established-relationship fic, but I want them to crawl, ever so slowly towards the moment of resolution (and if they don't achieve it in the fic, that's completely fine with me, possibly even preferable??). I want Gansey and Blue to encounter a million more pitfalls and problems and petty bickerings while staring at each other and thinking about not being able to kiss. I want the slowest. burn. imaginable between Adam and Ronan because both of them have so many issues with the concepts of love and happiness and I need to see them work through them AT A GLACIAL PACE, BECAUSE PRECIOUS DUMB BABIES. Basically, I would most love to see something that moves the story forward with all of the glorious romantic tension sizzling beneath the surface -- but, again, if either of the romances aren't your game, anything involving the relationships between any of these four, I will eat up with a spoon.

The main things I don't want here: porn (see, again, the slow burn), any character getting shafted (as I said, focus on other characters is totally fine, but don't deliberately put anyone down or exclude them needlessly), any romantic/sexual relationships past what I've specified (and especially not Gansey/Ronan or Ronan/Blue), established relationship/relationship-only fic without other plot -- and finally, I don't want speculation that goes too far into the future. Basically, a Glendower-related plotline is fine, but I don't want it to go so far as to actually find Glendower, and I DEFINITELY don't want speculation on how Gansey's death (sob) may go. Move the plot forward a little, but... like... fractionally slow. Give me the slow burn here, too. Just a little bit of productivity.

Some more things that I would be okay with, in case you draw a blank on what I've already given: anything and everything with the Lynch brothers (especially the shit we just learned with Matthew, come on!!!); anything and everything with how Ronan and Gansey met and became friends; anything and everything with how Ronan and Adam met, because !!!!!; any moments from early in Ronan and Adam's friendship; pretty much anything involving Raven Girls and a male Blue, because !!!!!! (it is a great tragedy of my life that because of Ronan, you can't leave them all female; BOO). And, again, I love everyone in these books (earlier this letter: I don't care for Kavinsky), so any and all appearances by other characters will make me very, very happy.

And, finally, if you are reading or skimming this because of this fandom, HI THERE. DROP ME A LINE AND LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR FEELINGS ABOUT THESE BOOKS!! (SPOILER ALERT: THEY ARE ALL DEVASTATION, PROBABLY.)

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