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Yuletide 2016

Dear Yuletide Author,

Thank you so much for writing a story for me! All of these fandoms are ones I really enjoy, so no matter which you matched on, I am extremely excited to receive a story in it!

Three of the four fandoms I'm requesting this year are ones I requested last year and in other past exchanges; I'll be recycling parts of those old requests to save time, & feel free to look at my old letters as my tastes haven't changed much for any of these fandoms.

likes: happy/hopeful endings, smart people interacting, people being competent and appreciating others' competency, crossovers, plottiness
dislikes: people acting out-of-character, non-canonical major character death, problems that could be solved if everybody just sat down and talked to each other, characters being embarrassed, sexual content (kissing or fade to black is fine with me, but I'd prefer if nothing more than that happens "on screen")

To expand a bit more on a couple of the above likes/dislikes (trying to keep this shorter than it's ballooned to in past years, but it's hard...)

Crossover-wise, here is a list of all the fandoms I am familiar with that I could think of. I'll mention a few crossover ideas specific to each fandom below, but seriously, when it comes to crossovers, I'm open to anything.

Anything from fluffy fluff to plotty epics is great. I'm not big on character studies where absolutely nothing happens, but I don't need very much to happen.

I tend to prefer lighter-rated stuff, PG or below. I mostly write gen and I would love to receive it, but I also like lightweight het...preferably canon relationships (with one exception below). Anyway, the fandoms I picked definitely aren’t known for having any explicit content, so hopefully you weren’t exactly planning on writing anything R-rated anyway. As far as other things that could increase a story’s rating, I’m also not big on bad language but I love action scenes. You needn’t take too much of a lead from the G-ratedness of my own fic: I still haven’t managed to ever write characters even kissing, but that doesn’t mean I object to reading a kiss in fanfic.

If you get stuck on the fandom you matched on and want to check out one of the others, White Christmas and Golden Gate will take you the least amount of time. White Christmas can be rented on Youtube or presumably elsewhere; Golden Gate is $2 on Kindle. The other two are multi-book series, but I can assure you they're worth the time if you have it available. :-) They should be available at any decent library or bookstore.

Oh, and related to the different challenges on the Yuletide comm, I wouldn't mind at all receiving a Misses Clause story as long as it included all my requested characters; none of my prompts are particularly suited to passing the Bechdel Test but their wider definition of "write women" gives you a number of openings. I would love to receive a YuMaDrIn treat. On the other hand, Crueltide and Yuleporn aren't my cup of tea. And lastly, I do enjoy Christmas stories.

Now on to the fandoms, in alphabetical order:

The Golden Gate - Alistair MacLean

"[Revson]'s no hothead. His mind is as near ice-cold as any man's can be. I also forgot to say that he's highly intelligent, very ingenious and extremely resourceful."

"Then he's a hand-picked man?" Newson said. Hagenbach nodded. "You hand-picked him?" Again the nod. "So he's the best in the business?"

"I can't say. You know the size of our organization. I can't possibly know all the field agents. He's just the best I happen to know."

The Golden Gate, p. 117

The request: I enjoy action stories and competent heroes, and this story provides a lot of both. I'm not entirely sure what I want out of fic for this story...Either more adventures of the same characters (pre- or post-story), or a missing scene, or maybe an AU? More details and National Treasure crossover idea in my letter.

I enjoy MacLean's writing, particularly his tendency towards competent characters. This MacLean novel has always been my favorite; I'm not sure why but if I had to guess it's probably the lower body count and the fact that his hero isn't as much of a loner as some of his heroes, but has plenty of other competent characters on his side.

I'm equally okay with Revson and April Wednesday being a couple after the book or amicably breaking up as soon as the adrenaline wears off. Secondary characters I particularly like are Dr. O'Hare and General Cartland.

Random ideas: Pre-book, how did Revson get those rock-solid press credentials—did he actually go all those places or are any of them really good forgeries?
April Wednesday may get scared by the risks they're taking but she's brave, capable, and a bit forward. What's her background? What's her perspective on the story? How do her attitudes toward Revson change throughout the book? They're sitting next to each other when we first are introduced to the characters...what had their interactions been like beforehand?
How does O'Hare take the return to normal life? Does he wish for adventure afterwards? Does he stay in touch with Revson and April Wednesday? What was he in the middle of when Branson's request for an ambulance came in, and why was he selected?
If you want to focus on Branson: what was the planning like? Did he know right from the start that this was what he wanted to do or did he go through several ideas? How did his life of crime begin (the book says it had something to do with his dad's bank)? What sort of previous heists has he committed, and/or how did he recruit his team?
What about an AU where something that goes wrong in the book goes right, or vice versa? Does the butterfly effect lead to Branson winning? It might be cool to see a story where Branson succeeds in getting everybody to the island, and how Revson et al. continue to cause problems for him.

In terms of the low body count, historical location, and villain's general attitude, the story has always reminded me of National Treasure. If you felt like doing a crossover, I was thinking it might be fun to combine the two fandoms. Ian Howe and Peter Branson know each other or are related? With a bit of messing with the time frames, Peter Branson is Ian Howe? Ben, Abigail, & Riley call in Revson (& April Wednesday?) to assist them with a mystery? Revson is one of the FBI agents on the Declaration case? Feel free to move the time frame of either or both fandoms to the present day or beyond. (This last bit goes for if you aren't writing a crossover as well.)

Oxford Time Travel Universe - Connie Willis
Colin Templer, Polly Churchill

"I'm not going anywhere without you," he said, and the shimmer brightened to a white-hot flame.

All Clear, p. 637

The request: I'd like to see Colin and Polly after Blackout/All Clear, figuring out how to handle the out-of-orderness of their relationship. I do think they both care for each other...I'm not interested in fic where Polly totally dislikes Colin and feels trapped into a relationship out of gratitude; Polly feeling overwhelmed and acting like she doesn't care for him because she doesn't know how to handle all that's happened, on the other hand, would be something I'd love to read (although I'd really like if it ends on a brighter note because I'm a sucker for happy endings). In case this doesn't float your boat, though, I've included some other possibilities in my letter.

It probably comes as a surprise to no one at this point that I ship Colin & Polly. I like how Polly comes to care for Colin when he's not there, and how Colin stays devoted to her throughout the years he spends searching for her, and I definitely want them to end up together; but I don't think their relationship is totally fairytalesque. I'd very much like to see the aftermath of Blackout/All Clear, as Polly and Mr. Dunworthy adjust to being back in their own time, Colin figures out what he's going to do with his life now that his driving force for the last decade is no longer necessary, and Colin and Polly try to figure out how to handle the out-of-orderness of their relationship. When I think of them decades after Blackout/All Clear, I picture them married, but I don't think that happened for quite a while after they got back...in the immediate aftermath, I wouldn't be surprised if there was quite a lot of messyness and shyness and bumps in the road. But I do think they both care for each other...I'm not interested in fic where Polly totally dislikes Colin and feels trapped into a relationship out of gratitude. Polly feeling overwhelmed and acting like she doesn't care for him because she doesn't know how to handle all that's happened, on the other hand, would be something I'd love to read (although I'd really like if it ends on a brighter note because, surprise surprise, I'm a sucker for happy endings).

If the above prompt doesn't appeal to you, I'm also always interested in crossovers (Scarlet Pimpernel? Agent Carter? American Girls Felicity, Samantha, and/or Molly? Anything at all in this list?) and historical immersion where you just spend the majority of the fic having the historians explore a particular time. My favorite historical time periods are the American Constitutional Convention and surrounding events; World War II in Europe (yeah, that’s probably another reason why Blackout/All Clear is my favorite of the OTTU books); and anything music history related (my favorite composers are J. S. Bach, Johannes Brahms, Samuel Barber, and Lee Hoiby). If you have a favorite time period, I would love if you had the characters visit it...I really enjoy learning new things, particularly in history. [Added: I expanded a bit on some crossover possibilities in the crossover post on the Yuletide comm; see also my letter for Crossovering.]

If you can't see Colin & Polly together (I know some people don't like that particular subplot) I would prefer that you not break them up or otherwise put down their relationship, but just have them be "taking things slow" or some such, or just not mention it at all. (I'm fine with breakups in the course of having them eventually end up together; this is just in the case of not shipping them at all.)

In case you want to know, other favorite characters of mine in OTTU include Badri, Mr. Dunworthy, Binnie Hodbin, and Mr. Goode (Eileen's vicar).

Star Wars Legends: Thrawn Trilogy - Timothy Zahn
Mara Jade, Talon Karrde

[Mara] regarded [Karrde] thoughtfully. "What was all that business about capital starships?"

"You heard everything that was said."

"I know. I was talking about your reaction to it."

He grimaced to himself. "I'd hoped it wasn't that obvious."

"It wasn't."

Heir to the Empire, p. 239

The request: I'd like to see Mara & Karrde interacting, either after they've known each other for a while or watching them grow closer over the years. I like how much they trust each other and how much their knowledge of each other makes them a great team. I'd love either to see their relationship treated just how it is in canon, or if you want to mix things up, I would equally love to see an AU where their partnership turns into romance.

Zahn's books hit a lot of tropes I like, with plots that don't rely on anybody doing anything dumb, and lots of Chessmaster characters.

Mara & Karrde as coworkers: They worked together for a long time and respected each other's skills. Karrde lets Mara get away with things (like starting up the ship & blowing their cover) that he wouldn't let other subordinates do because he trusts that she has a good reason for what she does. If you want, push this trust to the limits & have them figure out where those limits are. Or just give them a rollicking adventure being competent smugglers together.

Mara/Karrde as a couple: Not something I would have ever wanted to happen in canon (I really like Luke/Mara), but this is something I'd enjoy seeing explored. I'm thinking of this more in terms of an AU, with Karrde's and Mara's lives taking a different direction, not Karrde-and-Skywalker-as-romantic-rivals, although the more I think about the latter the more I think that would be fun to read too.

Mara & Karrde in the universe of Episode VII: (This could combine with either of the above.) Just because the galaxy went a different direction after Return of the Jedi, and just because Mara Jade never necessarily met Luke Skywalker, doesn't mean that she and Karrde don't exist in the universe we're introduced to in The Force Awakens. What does their life look like there? Did she ever meet Luke Skywalker? Is life better or worse for her and Karrde? I'd be equally interested in seeing a fullblown crossover where they interact with the events of the movie, or a fusion where they never meet any of the other characters we know, but their lives are just subtly different.

My letters for this fandom in Yuletide 2013 and GenEx 2016 may be useful if you want even more information on what I like in and about these books.

White Christmas (1954)
Judy Haynes, Phil Davis

"What is this, the best two outta three?"

"I guess I got carried away."

"Yeah, she carried me right with her, I don't weigh very much."

White Christmas, the end of my favorite scene

The request: We don't see much of Phil and Judy's own romance as they're busy matchmaking Bob and Betty, but obviously something happened there! Was Judy totally after him the whole time and using the fake engagement to further her own plans? Did neither of them even realize they were interested in a relationship until the party at the end? I don't have a headcanon about their relationship, so take it whatever direction you want to. (Except obviously there had to be some attraction there early on with "how about those big brown eyes" and "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing".) 

If you don't want to write het or if you just aren't feeling the above prompt, then how about gen with some of their matchmaking hijinks as they try to set up Betty & Bob. Or a crossover—there are some crossover possibilities in my letter.

I requested this last year and got two treats I really enjoyed, but as it happened, neither of them had any interaction between Phil and Judy, so I'm still hungry for that. Although I probably would have requested this again even if they had, because this tiny fandom can always use more fic. :-)

The last few times I've seen White Christmas, I've been a bit annoyed that we see a lot more of Bob's & Betty's (nice but not terribly interesting to me) romance, but Phil's & Judy's kind of comes out of nowhere in the last number. So I'd like to see what's been going on behind the scenes that got them to that point!

I'm not looking for sexual content but for cute interaction along the lines of what happens in the movie. Or to put it another way, my mom knows I'm requesting her favorite movie (I may talk about Yuletide a lot during the last third of the year...), so please don't include anything I'd be too embarrassed to show my mother?

Anyway, if you really don't want to write about the development of Phil's & Judy's relationship, I'd also enjoy seeing more of them trying to set up Betty & Bob. Was Phil's signal with the apple something prearranged at length earlier ("Apple means food, hat means a walk by the barn..."), or is it something he comes up with on the spur of the moment?

So I also mentioned the possibility of crossovers. As I mentioned in the intro to my letter, I am totally up for a crossover with any of the fandoms in this long list. Here's a couple random ideas: Phil tells Judy about that time he saw Captain America perform (and maybe he sneaked backstage?). Molly McIntire's dad is one of the men of the 151st Division who shows up (with his family) on Christmas Eve. Bob or Phil met the guys from the original Ocean's 11 (who were all in the 82nd Airborne) back during WWII and now they're trying to drag them in on a heist.
This entry was originally posted at http://lirin-lirilla.dreamwidth.org/1470.html. Please comment there using OpenID.



christmas belle

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