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26 October 2014 @ 11:27 pm
Dear Yuletide Writer 2014  
Dear Yuletide Writer,

You are amazing, will be amazing, and always will be and have been amazing, just for this. You breathe in awesome and breathe out kickassness, it's a natural law. Sky's blue, light refracts, and you are made of win. Have a box of your favourite chocolate and coffee in advance.

Thank you so much for being willing to write a fic for me! I can't wait to see what you'll come up with, and when reveals arrive I will pimp you and your fic for the next 6 months straight to everyone I know. That's a promise, dattebane!


First things first before we get down to brass tacks: I'm in the Optional Details Are Optional camp, so if you choose to ignore all the following blather, that's cool -- be assured I will read and love anything you give me.

I have no triggery issues, am cool with (almost) anything, devour fic for any and all pairings as long as they're presented believably, and will happily read anything porny if you decide to give me Yulepr0n. That said, since this is Yule and things are supposed to be happy or at least light-hearted, I'd prefer not to read anything with character bashing, scat, rape or D/s.

Some things I love in fic: Lots of characterization, character interactions, plot, suspense, strong women, lots of worldbuilding and little details (see all prompts below), disabilities and methods of coping with disabilities portrayed accurately, characters kicking ass and taking names, philosophical questions, moral dilemmas, religion, underdogs making good, angst and fluff in any proportion, adventure, humour, snark, trope subversions, remixes, pop culture and historical references, exploring "What If?" scenarios, AUs, friendship fic, family fics, happy endings, bittersweet endings.

Whew! That ended up being longer than expected. Now for the section you've been wanting to get to, Dear Writer: the fandoms!

Fandom 1: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Characters requested: Baurus

One thing that I really regret didn't make it into the game is the earlier depiction of Cyrodiil we were given, from the PGE1 up till Morrowind. Where's my endless jungle and mobile magical topiary and the City islands, dammit?! IMHO the Cyrodiil and Imperial City we got was horribly bland and not at all fitting of the heart of a magical world like Tamriel. I love worldbuilding in Oblivion fic that brings back the exotic Mesoamerican-Near Eastern aspects of Ald Cyrod, the more the better.

Don't be afraid to bring all the weird lore and sci-fi vibes into things either; I'm a Kirkbride enthusiast and will not bat an eye at weird pseudo-jargon, time-travelling robots from the future, spaceships made of pure sunlight that look like firebirds, steam and magick-driven computers, or giant world-negating mecha.

Action adventure fic is spiffy, scenery porn is awesome (see rant above), as are slice-of life fics and tiny details about random things like differences in Cyrodiilic cultic religion, customs among the Ten Races, etc. If you feel up to it, I very much welcome pieces in the style of in-universe texts, epistolary fic and so on.

Character studies are also great -- I requested Baurus, but am perfectly fine with reading fics about any of the others in the tagset, with the caveat that I don't know much offhand about these characters outside of Baurus, Janus Hassildor, and Oleta. I've only played parts of the Main Quest and several side-quests, so my knowledge of game details and certain characters is lacking outside of what's available on the UESP, for which I’ve read most of the Oblivion related things anyway (so no worries about huge spoilers).

Thus if you want to explore Oleta's background and her service to Akatosh in the Chapel of Kvatch, or Jeanne Frasoric and how she managed to end up leading the Bruma Mages Guild, or how Count Hassildor and his wife first met, or what led Baurus into the Blades, I'm more than happy to read it!

In the end, write as you will; and if nothing and no-one in the character tagset appeals to you, feel free to write about anyone and anything in Cyrodiil that you want to! I'll be waiting to see what you come up with. Magnus, Dibella and Julianos's blessing on your pen/keyboard/writing tools.

Fandom 2: Fortress Series - C.J. Cherryh
Characters requested: Any

This is a series I hold fairly close to my heart, really. Tristen is a fascinating character. Watching him grow in understanding of the world around him feels like being a child again but with a deeper understanding. His deep friendship with Cefwyn makes me a little melty-- the faith they have in each other even through some very bleak moments is heart-warming.

So what would I like in fic for this series? Worldbuilding, again. Tell me about places we haven't seen in the books themselves, like Llymaryn, or Panys. What are Guelen folk legends like? Or Elwynim ones? Otherwise: I'd like something that explores Ninévrisë's role as Consort in Ylesuin. Or, what do the Elwynim think of Cefwyn as their Lady Regent's husband? If that doesn't get your ideas machine going though: Cefwyn and Efanor, and their relationship through the years. Maybe explore Tristen and just what happened after the first four books that sent him into the self-imposed exile we see him in in Fortress of Ice?

Something else to play with: Anything concerning the Sihhë rule before the Marhanen overthrow, particularly anything concerning the first five Sihhë: maybe show how something that happened then affects what happens now, in the time of the books. Or, interesting what-if: Tristen is somehow made to acknowledge he is Barraketh. What then?

Overall though, I hope you have fun writing this. I love this series very much, and the fact you're writing something in it now, dear writer, has me going SQUEEEE and letting off fireworks in celebration already. You write what you want, I'll cuddle up to it come Christmas Day and be all flaily like a flaily thing.

Fandom 3: Foreigner Series - C.J. Cherryh
Characters requested: Any

This series is the one and only long series I've bothered to keep up with year after year. Found Foreigner at the thrift store when I was 15, been hooked ever since. The atevi, their culture and just everything feels spot on and very much real. Bren is a fascinating, imperfect mirror into the atevi world: part of it, but not all the way, can't be all the way either.

Would like: Worldbuilding, and/or family fic!

Ideas: What does the paidhi do on vacation apart from fishing and perhaps reading? Or tell me more about the "paidhiin's two weeks at Geigi's estate", at the end of Inheritor. Or fluff fic involving Bren and Jago, or father-daughter bonding between Jago and Banichi, if you're feeling like exploring the atevi's relationships with each other. Or show me a day in the life of the average ateva around Shejidan -- what do they think of broken roof tiles, a few decades after the first shuttle flew?

Alternately, if you want to go for dramatic tension, adventure and hijinks in your story, go for it. I quite enjoyed the increasing amount of physical action Bren's been in over the last few trilogies. Maybe the Reunioners are plotting to cause trouble that only decisive action taken with much biichi-gi will halt; or the Marid is suddenly about to blow up (again) for various reasons, or some deal or other will fall through and cost the atevi government much credit -- unless our Bren comes to the rescue again?

Hope these prompts get your engine started! Don't worry about spoilers either, I'm up to date with all the books; only Bren stuff I haven't read yet is the short story "Invitations".

Fandom 4: Chalion Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Characters requested: Lupe dy Cazaril, Ista dy Chalion, the Bastard (Chalion)

My favourite character in this series has to be Cazaril: he's level headed, a romantic at heart, and highly competent. Ista runs a close second though; her wit and strength of character make her very formidable, and I like that Chalion has so many strong female characters.

Do note that I’ve not finished reading all of The Hallowed Hunt, so anything from there I am not going to recognise, belike. Don’t feel that you have to leave concepts from it out though!

Ideas: Now, Optional Details are Optional, I will enjoy anything you write! That said, if you could swing something funny involving the Bastard and either Cazaril or Ista, you win at life forever. Perhaps the Bastard requires the services of his saints both current and former yet again for something that might prove embarassing... Alternately, something exploring how Cazaril or Ista are getting along as ex-saints while being Chancellor (or Dowager Royina in Ista's case) -- would be interesting to see.

I'd also enjoy reading slice of life fics, political things, AUs, and as ever, worldbuilding things -- if you want to take me over into Darthaca or the Roknari court, I’m game!

If you’re swinging for romance, I am a sucker for Ista/Ilvin and Betriz/Caz fluff. Fluff with plot is even better.

I love you, you are awesome, dear writer, and your fic will be awesome too no matter what's in it. Now go forth and write!