prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (Ooh ooh ooh pick Neal!)
the late, or rather, later Henrik Egerman ([personal profile] prodigy) wrote2010-11-14 11:42 pm
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Dear Yuletide Santa

First of all, hi! You and I don't yet know each other -- unless, of course, we do -- but already I'm glad we're on this ride together. Ain't no stopping this train we're on. Thank you so much for writing my Yuletide fic; I hope you have fun with it and that my requests aren't overly demanding or difficult for you to write. This is my seventh year doing Yuletide (please do not look up my Yuletide fics from my first years) and whether you're a similar old-timer or newer to this, this is my favorite fandom event literally ever and I hope it turns out to be a blast for you.

Second of all, everything in this letter is optional. If you get seized by a great idea that violates one or more of my requests below, run with it, I don't care. I'd rather you write something you think is inspired and you have fun writing than otherwise -- I bet I'll have more fun reading it too.

Before I go into specifics for my requests, I think I'll touch on a couple things I like in fic. The reason why I do this is that while you could look around here (and find nothing) or my LJ (and find more, admittedly), pretty much none of it would be my own writing or fics I've favorited or fic communities I'm on -- I'm primarily a RPG and originals writer. For good or for ill, Yuletide is also my only fandom activity. So if you're a recipient-stalker like me looking for fic they're into I know that can get pretty frustrating.

I love wit and seriousness, things that make me grin -- even just a little, and even just in gallows humor -- at the same time they make me wince, or smile the same time they make me tear up a little. I'm big into banter, though not over-the-top OOC, and I love funny narration; I'm a big Burn Notice fan though I didn't request it this year, and as that might suggest I think internal character commentary has the potential to be characterizing, insightful, and hilarious all at the same time. Of course, not every fic and moment calls for levity -- especially in my Echo Bazaar request I imagine the tone might be overwhelmingly grim, The Town also. I really like a sense of setting, a feeling the writer knows the world they're writing in and the characters inhabit it; I'm a shipper and the pairings I requested (OotS, TF2, EB) I'd really love to see as pairings. That being said, feel free to give your fic more of a plot and point and focus than just romance/sex -- not that I mind the romance and sex, mind you, au contraire. But still, for example, even more than I'd love to read a good Heavy/Medic fic I'd love to read a good Team Fortress 2 fic period. Other things I like: interesting structure, making up character details that weren't canon but seem like they should be, ratings that seem to fit the story (meaning not shoehorning one way or the other).

Order of the Stick: Belkar/Vaarsuvius

Shit, this is why I love Yuletide -- stuff like Order of the Stick makes for eligible fandoms. How cool is that. Ever since I started reading OotS I was wondering if anyone else shipped Belkar and V, and now I get to find out! :D Anyway, I'm a huge OotS fan, it's one of my favorite webcomics and definitely my favorite tabletop-game-related webcomic (though DM of the Rings is a close second). I think OotS is one of those things underappreciated for its seriousness as well as its humor, which admittedly is understandable as it's frigging hilarious and rarely hits an unfunny note. I love pretty much all of the characters, so feel free to include just about anyone, particularly anyone from the original Order itself.

This is one of the few pairings where I'm like -- bring on the plot devices. Bring on the tongue-in-cheek. If you ever had the urge to write a sex pollen/hypothermia/truth serum/chained-to-each-other-for-a-day/pretend-to-be-a-couple/whatever fic, now is your chance! I love it. OotS is full of magical things and situations that could call for it. Canonicity is optional; you don't have to make this fit perfectly into timeline if you don't want, though I'd love if it fit somewhere in the OotS storyline, even in AU! V is one of my favorite characters, and Belkar is my favorite character period, so I'd love it if you gave them their propers for being the flawed, dysfunctional, imperfect but understandable beings they both are. We're talking kobold genocide and deal-with-dark-powers-to-protect-family here. I don't want any preaching about their moral inferiority or excessive defense either; moral exploration is great, high-horsiness not so much. As for sex and gender, I'd rather V's not be a running gag -- subject of a joke or two, sure, but I think more than that is unnecessary. As for the other kind of sex, if it seems natural to the rest of the storyline, handle it however you like: if not, no worries.

Team Fortress 2: Heavy/Medic

Okay, you may have gathered I like TF2. You may also observe Dance Fortress 2 Heavy and Medic in my DW icons. Personally I'm thrilled period at the prospect of getting good TF2 fic anyway. My dream TF2 fic is a bit like TF2 but expanded: funny, fast-paced, set in the 1960s Cold War era, featuring a ragtag band of crazy-ass misfits who are just a little more sympathetic than they let on. I love H/M. Valve appears to love H/M too. (Secondarily I love Sniper/Spy and Soldier/Demoman, secondarily, yes, secondarily, certainly.) I vastly prefer them as a same-team pairing (though I have no real RED or BLU preference), since I think the core of their dynamic is how great they work together as a team, and how inherently protective they have to be of each other to survive. I think they're pretty cute.

Other preferences -- like I said, not a fan of stupid!Heavy or evil!Medic, particularly not Nazi!Medic. Seriously no Nazis. (Also Heavy is Russian so I'm not sure how that would work.) Valve has confirmed it's not true and it's just in poor taste anyway. Heavy and Medic are characters who have less lore about them by now than, say, Soldier or Demo or Engie, or Spy and Sniper. Even so, I think they've got pretty distinct personas: I see Heavy as less of a dumb jock and more rough-and-hearty and bolshy and cheerful and loud because he can get away with it, he's friggin' huge and far from incapable of getting angry. Likewise I see Medic as, well, his skill is vasted on this team, you are trying his patience -- he's fussy, irritable, sometimes (okay a lot of the time) thinks he's the most competent person here, gets flustered and wired in battle situations, bitchy but still fundamentally the team's The Medic, sorry Medic. Feel free to address and invent any bits of lore, Medic's wife, whatever; also feel free to address the fact they ARE Russian and German not too long after WWII and the issues therein. I love reluctant-teamwork-fic and you-drive-me-crazy-why-am-I-totally-hot-for-you; I also think they're likely to quarrel but, in the end, I love zis doktor, they're two halves of a teamwork whole. As for TF2 logistics -- do whatever you like for the teams, give them names, I'm cool, but I'm not a big fan of respawn.

The Town: Jem Coughlin

This is the only genfic I requested; I rarely ask for single-character genfic these days, so I have to be really into a character to do so. And I am. The way I see James Coughlin is he's someone who loves intensely, painfully, but maybe in all the wrong places and all the wrong ways; he's crazy, reckless, high on adrenaline and his own daring and he's perpetually gonna get himself killed one of these days, spending all his time taunting the Grim Reaper. But he also loves his sister and niece and really wants to make a family with them and Doug, and I get the impression his crazy behavior is the symptom of a death wish, possibly a prison-caused death wish, or one borne of growing up in and living this shitty nowhere life, or both. If you addressed any of those things I'd seriously love you. It'd be pretty hard to capture his cheerfulness that easily slides to anger and his boyish flippance and his boyish menace, and I think all of these things are part of him. He's just a really intriguing character and I'm glad his part was so big in The Town but on some level I feel he was shortchanged in favor of Doug and his (rather douchey IMO) storyline with Claire. So I'd love to see him given his fair due and fair time in the spotlight, as well as his feelings and choices.

As for specific subject matter -- I could go for pretty much anything, honestly. It's going to be pretty hard to write a fic about Jem without making Doug a big part of it, as he's crazy loyal to him and loves him a great deal, and will do and has done pretty much anything for him. Even if it's not always reciprocated. I could see this as romantic, I could see it as not, whichever's more fun for you to write; either way, I admit I don't think Doug returns the favor even halfway adequately enough, and while I don't like character demonization I'd like it if you addressed that. Otherwise stuff about Jem's relationship with Krista and her daughter would be great; the rest of the team and Fergie the Florist are also entirely welcome. I sympathize with Jem and the team a lot, but I was ultimately rooting for Adam Frawley; I suspect you won't have the chance to use him, but I do love him a lot too. I also recognize this is likely going to be a very dark fic: The Town's a very dark movie. That's totally fine. As for sex and violence, be as graphic or as fade-to-black as you think fits: I think it's good not to flinch from stuff, but gratuitousness is, well, gratuitous.

Echo Bazaar: The Clay Manservant/The Missing Comtessa OR The Melancholy Curate/The Enigmatic Sister

Woohoo EB! If my double-barrelled request causes any system problems please let the mods know and, err, apologize to them pre-emptively on my behalf, because I'm sorry in that case, I fail at AO3. But anyway, I love Echo Bazaar and it is the biggest timesink that ever sunk my time, and I'm not going to lie and say I haven't bought second candles either. I'm both a big fan of dark and Judeo-Christian-based fantasy (like Hellblazer) and fantasy Victorian settings -- actually I have an original project that is kind of both of these things, though nothing like EB -- and I'm not a fan of steampunk, as I think it's an uncritical aesthetic rather than an interesting period setting. EB was like Christmas on a plate. So for writing EB in general, I'd love if you preserved: the eerie and beautiful atmosphere, the dry period voice, the little details about Fallen London that make it so eerie and beautiful, the history of the place, mysteries and enigmas of the world and backstory, setting locations in the Neath, things like that. I'll write two brief things on each request -- for which I'm only asking for ONE of. (I also like the Starveling Cat and Jack-of-Smiles. Just as a note.)

Clay Man/Comtessa: When I did this storyline in Ladybones it was definitely the saddest and most poignant one I'd run across, and I think it still is. I like starcrossed love, I admit, and I think the Comtessa was clever and strong-willed for her age (considering she eluded the player character's investigations so handily, and covered up what was really going on in her life so well), and the Clay Man kind of sad and devoted and humble; so I'd really prefer if their love wasn't treated like some kind of misguided mishap or abomination against nature. I have a lot of sympathy for the Clay Men period. It's hard not to. I'd like something that treats the Comtessa's final choice as complicated maybe but still her choice, and gives her reasons to have fallen in love with the man she did; likewise, I think the Clay Man did sincerely love her and respect her and his choices were the best choices he knew. Writing something about their meeting/falling in love/what they were doing during the events of that plotline would be great -- so would anything after, really, all your choice. Naming them is also both optional and would be cool.

Curate/Sister: Okay, this storyline was fucked up but so intriguing: mind you, I'm only at around 50-55 in my stats at the time of this letter, so if there's more to it I might not know about it. I found all their storyline tidbits fascinating, and I was totally disappointed to not find out the extent of their backstory, so -- undisappoint me! I want to hear about their life on the surface and in the Neath, about their relationship, what really goes on with them behind closed doors and why it is they're carrying on the charade that they are. The stuff implied about the Curate and Sister both sexually in their separate endings really does intrigue a perverse part of me, I admit, so don't shy away from going into that either. If you want to work in anything about St. Dunstan's or Hell while you're at it, feel free, I pretty much love all EB storylets and storylines except for "rats in your lunch" because it took for fucking ever to get rid of those rats and I became vengefully obsessed with them like Sweeney Todd as my roommate can attest but this is unrelated to my letter so anyway. Like I said about the previous prompt, don't hesitate to name them if you think it'd make the story easier to write. Also, this is going to sound kind of lame and obvious, but try and avoid being race/culture-offensive if you choose to write about their missionary work? I know it's sad I have to note that, but better safe than, well, very, very sorry.

That was like a thesis in Yuletide. A symphony in Yuletide minor. A Study in Yuletide. The Sign of Yuletide. Yuletide and Peace. The Guinness Book of Yuletide. Anyway, thank you for making it through that all just to make this a very special Christmas for me -- I'm so elated, delighted and looking unbelievably forward!