Oct. 10th, 2016

syllic: ([genkill] assured of this)
Dear Writer,

First of all, thank you for offering to write in these fandoms. I had a great Yuletide last year and am really looking forward to this year.

Second, this letter is long as hell. Read what is helpful! Ignore what is not!

Okay. I'll get "do not wants" out of the way first: gore, extreme violence, rape or abuse, hatred, cruelty, discrimination, or seeing a character face unrelenting injustice. I would strongly prefer a story that does not end in, or exclusively deal with, death and/or sadness. Even the mention of death after a full, happy life in fic makes me a bit sad; I appreciate that a world with no death is unrealistic, but fic is a place where I can escape that at the moment.

Things I enjoy! Found families and teams and groups of people working their way through life together, pining that resolves, dorks, epistolary fic of all sorts, strong friendships based on a sense of utter trust and knowledge of each other, crossovers, dangerously competent people, grew-up-together fic, curtainfic, supernatural creatures (why not), hijinks and shenanigans-dialogue, kidfic, Regency AUs, friends who are trying to figure out how to love each other in a new way (and it's awkward but great).

Trope on, Tropey McTroperson: amnesia, woke-up-married, pretend-to-be-dating, pretend-not-to-be-dating, arranged marriage, best friends who somehow can’t communicate with each other even though they’re horrifically in love, the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-fuck-you-only-I-get-to-antagonise-that-person-I-will-smite-all-other-enemies fic. I’m cool with A/B/O and mpreg if that’s the story that calls to you, though they're not my preferred tropes.

If you’re writing sex, I can genuinely get into pretty much every kink that doesn’t involve scat or vomit or severe bodily harm or diapers or infantilising. I like healthy and respectful explorations of sexual power dynamics, in all their forms. I also enjoy plain old-fashioned lurve making. Also, makeouts 4 lyfe.

If you have specific questions about me, nicolasechs, best of wives is your woman.

Onward to the specific fandoms:

In Eroica, I love Klaus and Dorian’s uneasy but effective cooperation, and the utter competence they each bring to their jobs. I love the notion that they’re best together (not necessarily romantically) even when they don’t quite see it or understand it. I love what I interpret to be Klaus’ life of quiet rebellion—his hair and his fuck-you-Chief attitude—and what that means for him in terms of finding a space in which to live in the world. I like Dorian’s merry band of thieves, and I love the idea that Dorian reveals a kind of maturity when he looks after them. I like the Alphabet’s devotion to Klaus and what that says about what kind of human being he must be under all the shouting. I like to think about how Dorian might be able to quietly guide Klaus through some new experience—emotional or sexual or professional—in a quiet way that surprises Klaus, or about how Klaus might learn from Dorian being loud, not because he likes it but because Dorian has things to teach.

A situation where Klaus and Dorian work with another set of partners and realise that they are also partners—despite what they might think—as a result would be really fun. Klaus-finds/is given/mysteriously procures-a-child-and-Dorian-incompetently-helps-him-look-after-it-(not-necessarily-as-a-couple), if that’s your thing? (I can’t imagine how he would possibly cope but if you can, power to you.) They’re both older and are tired of how much work it is to be Iron Klaus and Eroica (Klaus/Dorian gets some young new subordinate and the two of them catch themselves rolling their eyes at each other like fuck me, this kid). Klaus has to go undercover as an art historian and Dorian is a total shit when Klaus calls him for help to teach him the basics!

Fuck, fic where they've ended up unwilling friends, and maybe Dorian is teaching at university, or helping to curate a small and exclusive gallery, and Klaus is supervising the training of young agents, and they call or write each other to gripe and Klaus cannot believe this idiot has actually become the most important person in his life. Maybe then they fall in love, if that's your thing as well as mine.

(A quick final note on this fandom: I am aware that it's canon-compliant to set Eroica fic in a world that isn't great about queer people and queer relationships; I would prefer a story that didn't deal heavily or exclusively with homophobia, though.)

____


Scrotal Recall: So I wrote Scrotal Recall fic last year (I will never call this show by its new name. Never!) and I had such a wonderful time writing it that it made me realise just how much I loved the show. I love the friendship between Luke, Evie, and Dylan, and how they're all failboating through life as a family of sorts. I love how willing the show is to explore the vulnerable or earnest side of people and relationships—sometimes people are painfully earnest, but that's okay, even if it makes you want to die inside.

I have only requested Luke, though I would be happy to see the other nominated (or even not-nominated) characters. I love seeing Luke be a good friend; I'd love to see Luke be happy. A completely self-indulgent prompt: I'd love to see the Phoebe incident be reimagined in a way that doesn't take away from what Luke learns from it, but which has Phoebe alive at the end. I think it would be amazing to see Luke try to make space for Phoebe in his life in a way that includes Dylan and his and Phoebe's past relationship (as well as Evie).

I'm interested in what led Luke to the moment at the end of season 1, and in the fall-out of the pub incident; I'm interested in Mumcut and how Luke got to where he is as a person. My fic last year dealt with the bucket list, but I'd love to find out more about it from someone else's perspective.

I'd love to see Luke's balls-to-the-wall approach to talking to others (I think he'd call it "balls to the wall", every time) crash hard into him liking someone and not knowing quite what to do: trying to fake it 'til he makes it and then realising he needs some help, maybe? I'd love a quiet moment of friendship between him and any of the other characters in the show. Lately I've been thinking I'd really be into Evie, Dylan, and Luke realising the three of them do better together than apart, though I'm still working around to figuring out how their three very different personalities would mesh in a relationship. If you know this already, I would love to find out.

____


I Want to Go Home: I loved these books as a kid, and basically wanted to be Gordon Korman, child writer, as much as I wanted pretty much anything in life. The things I like best—to this day, as a grown-ass adult woman—are the wonderful zaniness of pretty much every plot he has, and the totally improbable (but, let's face it, so appealing) mega-competence of his protagonists.

If you're writing something set during canon, I'd love to see a moment between Mike and Rudy where Rudy allows himself to not be too cool for school for a hot second and allows himself to show real appreciation for Mike. If that takes the form of Mike making an integral contribution to one of their schemes, to Rudy's surprise and delight, all the better. It'd be great to see Mike teach Rudy something, or even the other way around: Rudy seems to know how to do everything, but he isn't the most generous with his knowledge, and it'd be really lovely to see him learn how to share what he knows with someone, and how to be patient (for a moment, because let's face it: Rudy Miller isn't going to be patient for anyone in the long term) and see it pay off. Anything where they write each other letters after camp would be wonderful for me, and if they're awkwardly confessing their love, well—A++. It's totally fine if they're not, though: I'd just like to see them stay in each other's lives.

If you don't want to write about camp, I love the idea that Mike and Rudy stay in touch and continue to build lives that are parallel and involve the other for many years after that summer. I think they're made for each other: if they're building a life romantically, I will be delighted, but I also think they would become the kind of bone-deep support for each other that wouldn't really go away, not through anything, and I'd love to see that friendship explored. If they're not together, I'd love to see one or the other dealing with something difficult and the other bringing his own brand of comfort—actual comfort, or not-at-all comfort—to the other. I'd love to see a moment where Rudy slows down (maybe because he has to? Or because he's finally ready to?) in his accomplishments or career, and sees how there's wisdom in Mike's patience and ability to go with the flow. I would love a fic where they have each other's backs in a professional setting, or maybe where Mike has... secretly turned out to be more successful than Rudy, and Rudy has a moment first of realisation and then of true happiness for him?

I basically love that Rudy makes space and time for Mike when he basically has no space or time for anyone; I think the same is true of Mike—he has space and time for plenty of people, but he makes a particular space and has particular time for Rudy. Anything that explores that will make me very happy; feel free to bring in any other characters, too.

____


Pitch: I started watching this show a few weeks ago with a cautious set of expectations, and I have really, really enjoyed it so far. It makes me so happy to see an idea with which fic has actually been playing around for a long time—about what it might be like to be an incredibly talented woman in an exclusively male sport—and do it well.

I have nominated Ginny, Mike, and Blip for the particular reason that there's something about their possible shared dynamic that fascinates me (but I wouldn't mind you playing with whatever combination of these three characters inspires you the most). As you can probably tell from all of these prompts, I love moments of generous instruction between individuals, and I was so fucking happy to see Blip point Mike in the right direction when it came to being the kind of teammate that Ginny deserves. Anything that continues to explore that would fill me with joy: I'd love to know why it is that Blip has Ginny's back so fully (is it his genuine decency and generosity? The fact that Evelyn took him aside and gave him his own talking-to, hard? That he saw Ginny's dedication first-hand, like Mike did? Some combination of all of these things, or something else?), and I'd really to see him teach Mike how to see with... clearer eyes. Better eyes, honestly. I'd love any moment of siblinghood between Blip and Ginny, or maybe Ginny trying to teach Blip and Mike something (baseball-related or otherwise) and having them both fail utterly at it?

I have to admit that early exposure to Mark-Paul Gosselaar has kind of put me in a place where I wouldn't mind if Mike and Ginny got it on. I know that'd be difficult given what we know about Ginny so far, and there'd have to be a lot of negotiation for it to be good for them both, but... I'm into it. Future fic where he's retired and Ginny's house-husband would be A-okay by me.

Finally, anything with Ginny will make me happy. I don't know enough about her and I want to learn where her vulnerable parts are and how she got that frame of steel, and I want to see her really carve out her place in the team (with others ideally stepping up and helping make a space for her).

(I should mention that if Ginny/Blip is what calls to you, I'd really appreciate seeing Evelyn treated super respectfully, and no infidelity, please.)

____


Finally, in this long-ass letter, Stranger Things! Like almost everyone who is a child of the 80s, I loved this show a fuckton. I put off watching it and then binge-watched the whole thing in one day, and I regret nothing.

The thing I love most about the show is its atmosphere: I love that 80s trope of kids (and teenagers) existing in a space separate from adults (and a little outside of time), basically being competent scientists and fighters and just really... excellent to each other. I nominated Eleven, Lucas, Mike, and Dustin because I really wanted to see something with the younger kids, but I would be really happy to see any other character make an appearance, and I'd also be happy if you played around with whatever kid-character combination worked for you.

If adventure fic where the kids continue to tackle the terrifying forces in their midst works for you, delightful, but I'd be just as happy to figure out how Lucas, Mike, Dustin (and Will) became friends, or to see Eleven and Lucas, or Eleven and Dustin, have a good moment of understanding that we didn't get to see on screen. I would LOVE to see a world ten years later where Eleven is back and the kids are young adults who are still close and trying to figure out life: it's a lot to ask, but I would lovelovelove to see that world ten years in the future with a side helping of the gang trying to figure out a mystery (maybe they've become... experts of the Upside Down and the paranormal, of a sort?), but dealing with the complications that come with being an adult who can't hide someone under a table in the basement (or, well, I suppose you could).

If Eleven comes back, any moment of... stillness between the kids would be great: for all her superhero powers, for all her strength, she's still just a kid, and at this point she's a kid who's killed a bunch of people. How do the others deal with that? How do they make her feel like she's one of them anyway? How do she and Will connect in particular ways because of what they've seen, and how do the others feel about that bond?

To get back to atmosphere, I would love to see anything that explores how the kids (and the teenagers, if you like) of the show deal with the quiet creepiness that hangs over their town, which they've now seen. I'd love to see Eleven return, and to see fic exploring what it would mean for the other four to try and make sure she was safe and had a family and anything approaching the life of a normal kid—maybe with the help of some of the adults? I basically want to see walkie-talkie shenanigans until the day I die (maybe an entity fries the cell phones owned by everyone at the Upside Down paranormal detective agency in the future, but... the walkie-talkies, sitting in a box in the office, mysteriously still work?).

Finally, I mentioned epistolary fic right at the top, and I wonder: once Eleven is gone, do letters maybe start appearing in Mike's and Dustin's and Lucas' (and Will's) families' mailboxes? Dusty, misspelled, full of weird made-up words, authorship absolutely clear? Is Eleven asking for help through the weave between worlds, and if so: how are they going to get her back?

Yuletide writer, I've written a lot—as is my wont—but I hope that's inspiring or helpful: my verbal vomit does not in any way mean to be prescriptive, and, most of all, I hope you will write a story you really enjoy. I will enjoy it immensely too.

Thank you so much, and happy Yule!

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syllic

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