prodigy: A parody Choose Your Own Adventure book cover with the title "Gay Viking Holiday." (forget miguel??)
the late, or rather, later Henrik Egerman ([personal profile] prodigy) wrote2012-10-14 06:36 pm
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Dear Yuletide Writer 2012

Dear Yuletide Writer,

Hi there, mysterious person! Thanks in advance for writing my Yuletide fic, I’m sure it’s going to be awesome. I think I should let you know right off the bat that I am pretty damn easygoing about challenge and exchange fics: below and in the prompts I’ve listed what I had in mind requesting each fandom, but if you find yourself fired by a burst of inspiration that gives you a different idea, do it. \o/ I’m sure I’ll be thrilled.

I figure I’ll just list some stuff I generally like and don’t like in fic, to give you a better idea of my tastes! Keep in mind these are all totally optional and in fact not all of them are going to fit any given prompt or fandom, so please don’t stress about how to include a particular thing -- they’re meant to help you brainstorm! In addition, you can check out my AO3 account for fics I’ve written and bookmarked, my DW profile for some of my interests, and my Tumblr to watch me dick around for whatever reason.

… incidentally, this appears to be the year where I requested four different angst-and-tragedy prompts by coincidence so ahahaha sorry about that. Apparently this Yuletide is my Year of Starcrossedness. Also, as three out of four of my requests turned out to be recent novels, I’m putting them all behind individual cuts as well as highlight-to-read spoiler text, just in case. The Scarlet Pimpernel prompt is not actually spoilery, but it looked lonely all by itself.

Some stuff I generally like: well-deployed humor and banter, bittersweetness, plot!, backstory, fun and detailed settings, non-linear storytelling, linear storytelling, meta, realistic and non-glorified depictions of war and violence, romance, social or humanist themes, politics, sex (also BDSM and BDSM dynamics), AUs and AU interpretations, fic that is critical or questioning of the source material, pastiche, fucked-up and problematic relationship dynamics, love-hate relationships, semi-unrequited love and other disparities in feeling, academic bullshit.

Some stuff I generally don’t: fluff and schmoop (errr however you define these terms, I’m using them to mean “fic written specifically to showcase some cute moment in a couple’s lives” or what have you), total canon-rigidity/canon-worship, sanitization of history, narratives where one person in a relationship is Completely Right.

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth E. Wein: Maddie/Julie. Maddie Brodatt is figuratively -- or literally, take your pick -- haunted by Julia Beaufort-Stuart. Some angsty post-CNV Maddie-POV fic dwelling on Julie and Julie's impact on her life would be lovely; maybe she's haunted by memories of Julie, maybe she meets someone who reminds her eerily of Julie, you can do what you like with the plot but that's the general vein I'm looking for! Shippy angle preferred, whether or not this was ever articulated or expressed between the two of them in life is up to you. Any rating welcome.

OMG, CNV. I love love love this book. Okay, though, if we didn’t match on this and/or you haven’t read this book somehow, please stop reading and go read it! Run, this is full of spoilers! I promise the book is worth not being spoiled on!

All right, I tried. Assuming you have read this heartbreaking work of staggering genius: if the prompt I wrote wasn’t clear, I want post-book, post-Julie’s-death fic about Maddie’s feelings for Julie and the impact she had on her life. I’m amenable to either psychological-haunting fic or literal-ghostfic of some kind, or, like I said, Hitchcockian doppelgangerfic, so long as it’s about Maddie and her grief and about Julie and the kind of person she was and about the strength of Maddie’s feelings for Julie. I’d like these feelings to be explicitly romantic, whether or not they were ever consummated (also your choice), but basically I would love this gothic Maddie/Julie story either in the latter part of WWII or later or both or whatever. Sex of some kind is totally welcome, but if you can’t figure out a place for it that’s also A-OK.

Oxford Time Travel Universe - Connie Willis: Polly/Godfrey. You can somehow get them together during the timeline of Blackout/All Clear or -- and this is my favorite idea -- write something later in Polly's timeline and earlier in Godfrey's (Polly a few years post-All Clear has to go back in time and meets a younger Godfrey in his thirties or forties, which is how he knows her, or whatnot?) but basically I totally shipped this, please make it happen! Unhappy endings are A-OK here, even expected. Any rating welcome.

I think part of the fun of writing time travel stories is bullshitting the science and internal continuity to make them work, so whatever you wind up going with for the plot for this, please have fun with that! I totally would in your place. Anyway, like I said in my prompt, I totally want Polly/Godfrey; when I read the book(s?) I shipped the hell out of it. You don’t have to bend time and space to give them some kind of happy ending or anything, but aside from the scenario detailed above I’m sure there are other possibilities to give them some time together? (Much of the fun in the original story was also the resourcefulness of the individual time travelers, including Polly, in navigating harsh circumstances as ordinary people and witnesses the triumphs OF ordinary people, so some more of that would be awesome too.)

I feel I should also address the question of Colin -- I actually don’t mind whatever you choose to do on the matter of Colin, shipping against canon is no obstacle for me but I understand the need for recognizing his existence and importance to the plot: so, yeah, whatever works for you!

The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy:Marguerite/Chauvelin. I would love some backstory for the two of them of the interpretation that they used to be romantically involved; the musical goes with this but I invite you to come up with your own. I'd also like Chauvelin-sympathetic fic that isn't needlessly horrified at everything the French Revolution stands for and which recognizes his Jacobin ideals as flawed in execution but basically good at heart. See my letter for more of this, but basically some lovely shipfic for the two of them that sympathizes with Chauvelin -- you can write out the backstory or you can just imply/refer to it, either would be splendid! Any rating welcome.

Ah, the prompt where I actually do know what to say in my letter. Okay, so. The Scarlet Pimpernel is delightful and fun and funny and adventuresome and all that, but it is also really obvious royalist and anti-populist pap. I mean, it’s all about the adventures of a nice aristocrat saving French aristocrats from Jacobins, and the antagonist is a vengeful Jacobin. It’s not that hard to make aristocrats look pitiable in the height of the Terror, of course, but the point still stands -- The Scarlet Pimpernel is excellent adventure fiction with a really dated (well, sadly there are plenty of stories with this moral still being created in 2012, but) and troubling message. I want you to fix that. Seriously, I would love some Scarlet Pimpernel fanfiction that does what various villain-sympathetic stories have done (looking at the Wickeds and I am Morgan Le Fays of the world) but I don’t think it’ll take nearly so much contrivance, because Chauvelin is canonically an idealist and a fundamentally honorable person? It’s just the author doesn’t respect his particular ideals.

As for the particulars on this request! I do totally like Marguerite as well and find her backstory and conflicted ideals interesting (and feel like she shouldn’t have to beat herself up quite so badly over the damned Marquis St. Cyr) and I’ve always been intrigued at the past friendship between herself and Chauvelin -- the Wildhorn musical turned that into a love relationship, please do that too but, err, you don’t have to do it like the Wildhorn musical. Basically I would love a backstory where they were old friends and he was a fiery idealist and so was she but he went a little too far for her, and she didn’t entirely understand him, and misunderstandings and conscience and ~tragedy~ and also making out. Don’t feel the need to downplay the antagonism of their later relationship, by the way, I love antagonistic exes who bicker at gunpoint, it is a huge button.

Also, I like Percy! I like Percy a lot! There does not need to be Percy-bashing, nor even Percy’s-side-bashing since what Percy is doing is still fundamentally pretty nice and he’s still adorable.

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell: Frobisher/Sixsmith. I was deeply intrigued when I read the book by the implication of Frobisher and Sixsmith's history together, so I'd love to read about it: tell me the story of Robert Frobisher and Rufus Sixsmith's relationship, which apparently ended but left such a mark on both of them that it seems they both regard the other as the love of their life. What happened? What went wrong? Why was it so special? Any rating welcome.

Oh maaaan, Cloud Atlas is a weird, weird book and I really enjoyed it. Throughout the course of Robert Frobisher’s chapters we’re told a lot about him, and some about Rufus Sixsmith (more in the Luisa Rey story), but tantalizingly little about their relationship -- but I find Frobisher a really painful and compelling character and also got briefly and damnably attached to Sixsmith, and the hints at their relationship were just heartbreaking. My headcanon on the matter is that they were briefly and passionately involved as schoolboys/young men, something went wrong (likely on the Frobisher front, sorry unstable baby but it’s probably true), they had a period of estrangement, then they made up and made out and were in a “casual” on-and-off relationship except neither of them actually fell out of love with the other, except they just didn’t admit it, until Frobisher did, anyway, in his very last letter. That is my headcanon, anyway, you are welcome to create your own or expand upon mine, but basically: expand upon it all! I want to read about this mysterious backstory, maybe in the epistolary style of the book, maybe not, and I want to know what happened.

Robert Frobisher is a crazy diamond and I can’t imagine it was easy to be in love with him; he is a flaky narcissistic insecure vain artistically snobbish manipulative moody wretch of a boy and I’d love it if you could reflect that. We don’t know as many of Rufus Sixsmith’s flaws because we frankly don’t know him as well, but I’m sure he has them even in his more-grounded-scientistness; I’d adore it if you elaborated on him in general, his life, his personality, his feelings, his actions. This is a lot of TL;DR to basically say: you know the gaps in Cloud Atlas when it comes to these two characters? Fill them in! I will love you for it.

In conclusion, please don’t freak out too much about your fic, as useless a reassurance as that is. You now know basically all you need to know about me in order to write a fic I’ll like, and I know one important thing about you: we have shared tastes. And that means you’re awesome. Go knock ‘em dead. ♥

[personal profile] prodigy