andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
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Dear Yule Writer,

First of all, thank you for offering to write about one of my favourite things! Before we begin, I hope you have fun. (Also before we begin: vast swathes of this are copy-pasted from previous years. What I have to say about fandoms I've requested before hasn't changed a lot.)

I'm pretty easy-going as far as content goes. I love all of the fandoms and the characters I requested. I am equally comfortable with any rating from G to NC-17. I don't mind angst and/or unhappy endings. Fluff is fine. Character death is fine. Violence is fine. Sex is fine. Christmas stories are fine. The only thing I really don't want to see in your story is animal harm.

General Stuff I Like: Gen, het, femslash, slash, and whatever other genre or combination of genres you come up with. Characters solving problems together. Characters failing to solve problems together. Crossovers, of both the fusion and 'someone fell into another universe' variety. Five Things stories.

You can ignore everything here and just write me anything you want with the characters I requested, because optional details are optional. However, I know most people like to have prompts to bounce off. Feel free to combine prompts.



The Black Tapes Podcast

Characters: Alex Reagan, Richard Strand

Full disclosure: I ship Alex and Strand like Fedex. Or a person with a Stamps.com account. That doesn't mean you have to write them together - I'm perfectly happy with gen! However, I would prefer that your story didn't focus on either of them in a romantic relationship with anyone else. (Mentioning past relationships, including Coralee, is just fine.)

1. I would love to see them investigate a situation where Strand turns out to be completely right: nothing supernatural is happening! Maybe it's a deliberate hoax (by an over-enthusiastic podcast listener?) or something that seemed like the work of ghosts or a demonic cult but has a rational explanation. Because sometimes it really is apophenia.

2. On the flipside, what if they DO find unambiguous proof of the supernatural? This would be even more interesting if said proof involved a sudden return of Strand's psychic powers that he couldn't write off ...

3. One of the things that intrigues me about the canon is that Alex shares so much with the podcast audience, right down to her insomniac sleep notes. Meanwhile Strand has had all the details of his personal life dragged out of him with the reluctance of someone having his teeth pulled. If they DID end up in a romantic relationship, that strikes me as a subject that would cause some interesting conflict.


Stuff I love about this fandom: Alex's endearing enthusiasm and terrible journalistic ethics, Strand's relentless commitment to skepticism when it makes NO sense, evil composers, the Unsound, Alex dragging Strand to lunch, the two of them driving around Seattle all night, Nic Silver pretending to be the Only Sane Man like he's not obsessed with some kind of lost city/dimensional rift/cat on another podcast.

I love these characters, and I love this podcast. I didn't write much in the way of plot-heavy prompts about the story arc here because I assume we're all waiting to see what happens after that Season Two cliffhanger, but if you want to write something about what happens next re: the end of the world and/or unravelling the conspiracy then please do! Mostly I just want to hear more about Alex and Strand interacting, whatever context that happens in. Whatever form it takes, they have a connection that transcends not only their very different approaches to the Black Tapes but also the generation gap and Strand's woeful ignorance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


Grim Fandango

Characters: Any

The world building in this game fascinates me. Anything you want to write about any of the characters or the setting itself would be great! If you need some prompts, feel free to use these:

1. What really happens when you die in the Land of the Dead? What happens when you reach the end of your journey and the Land of Eternal Rest? Are there other lands beyond the ones we see and hear about? Do the people with fake Number Nine tickets really go to Hell, and if so, what is it like?

2. Rubacava is my favourite section of the game. It's such a rich location, with so many interesting characters. I'd love to hear about other things that happened there, whether during the time Manny and Glottis were present or not. Bonus points for cat racing, Sea Bee strikes and/or poetry slams.

3. I'd love to know how any of the characters got to where they are when we meet them. We learn very little about what most of them were like in the Land of the Living, or why some of them have seemingly abandoned their journey in favor of making a life in the Land of the Dead.


Stuff I love about this fandom: the relentless inventiveness of the setting and all its background detail, creepy pigeons, trying to shove every inventory item in the garbage disposal, repeatedly locking Raoul in the closet, Lola's death scene. (Seriously, the image of those petals blowing away on the breeze has been burned into my memory ever since I first saw it.)

Grim Fandango has always been the pinnacle of the LucasArts adventure games for me - I vividly remember the summer of '98 when I got it for Christmas and my brother and I spent days on end solving it. I replayed it when it was re-released last year, and it's only improved with time. (No more compulsory awful control scheme!) I chose 'any' here because I love the world building and think all of the nominated characters are interesting. If you want to write a character piece about any of them, I'll enjoy that just as much as a story about why cat racing is a thing or how the Sea Bee union is going.


The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries

Characters: Adela Bradley, George Moody

This is such a lovely show, and I love the relationship between these two characters to bits. I saw it when it was first broadcast and to this day I wish there had been more of it. Gen or het is fine. (This is a fandom where I don't mind if they're romantically and/or sexually involved with other people, as long as they're still catching murderers together.)

1. We know the basics of how these two met, but I'd love to hear more about how their current relationship became established over the five years before the show opens. They've fallen into a comfortable rhythm together by the time we see them, but did that happen right away or did it take them time to get used to each other?

2. It's implied that they have a sexual relationship, but never actually confirmed, and obviously if they do it's a secret. So if this is the case, how does that actually work behind closed doors? How much do the period expectations about class and gender constrain people as unconventional as these, or do they find a way around them in private?

3. Precisely because the period setting shapes the characters lives so much, it strikes me as a fandom where an alternate universe setting would be interesting. How would things be different for Adela and George if it were 1829 or 2016 instead of 1929? If they were in Ancient Rome or a post-Apocalyptic world? Or that great AU stand-by, in spaaaaaaaace?


4. Even-more-optional than usual bonus letter-only prompt: if you like writing crossovers and are familiar with Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, I think that's a canon that would mix with this one astonishingly well. Phryne and Mrs. Bradley solving a case together! George bonding with Phryne's crime fighting crew! SO. MANY. HATS.

Stuff I love about this fandom: The gorgeous costumes, innuendo you could cut with a knife, Mrs. Bradley talking to the camera, George's words of the day, Surprise!Evil Peter Davison, George remembering that Mrs. Bradley hates carnations. Thing I hate about this fandom: it's only five episodes long, whyyyyyyyyyy?

Anyway, I would be equally happy here with elaborate casefic or with a story about what Mrs. Bradley and George do on a quiet night off at home. (Or maybe they're trying to have a quiet night off at home and it turns into casefic because heaven knows Adela Bradley can't go anywhere without somebody getting stabbed, strangled or poisoned. It's tough to be the twenties version of Jessica Fletcher, but somebody has to do it.) My only strong preference here is that George Moody and Adela Bradley be a team, whether they're intimately involved or not, and whether you're writing them in the canon setting or as Future Space Cops. (Oh, and if they are Future Space Cops, then George should drive the spaceship.)


The Mysterious Cities of Gold

Characters: Mendoza

As long as your story has Mendoza in it, I will be happy! Things you could write about include but are not limited to:

1. Gen interaction with any or all of the kids would be great. They all have different reactions to their kidnapper/navigator/bodyguard/token competent adult, and anything that explores those relationships would be interesting.

2. Backstory! Where is Mendoza from? How did he come to sail with Magellan in the first place? What other adventures did he have while Esteban was busy growing up?

3. Possible alternate universes: Mendoza isn't the one to pull Esteban out of the ocean, or if he is he doesn't take half the medallion. The events that precipitate Season Two don't happen and he gets to keep his treasure. How is his life different?


Stuff I love about this fandom: every single character, lost civilizations, ancient technology, gold plating everywhere, Mendoza fighting sharks, everyone ignoring Mendoza when he tells them not to run off into danger, Mendoza running off into danger straight after them, Cocapetl, the airship from Season Two, the Golden Condor.

The reason there are shorter prompts for this fandom is that what I really want to write is 'JUST GIVE ME ALL THE MENDOZA!!!' Which I realize is not the most helpful prompt in the world. (Unless it is, for you. In which case: just give me all the Mendoza, Yule Writer.) I adored this show as a child, and was thrilled to discover I loved it just as much as an adult when I rewatched it a few years ago. I'm delighted that it's back and I enjoyed Season Two. I do not expect you to have seen the new episodes in order to write for me. If you want to include stuff from it that would be great, but sticking with the original broadcast episodes is also just fine. Mendoza has been my favourite since I was about six, although I love the kids as well. He fascinated me when I was six, and he still does - I love his moral ambiguity, and the way that he changes for the better as the story goes on.


Nimona

Characters: Ballister Blackheart, Meredith Blitzmeyer, Ambrosius Goldenloin, Nimona.

This comic has EVERYTHING! I just want more everything. Any idea you have about any of these people separately to together would be lovely, but here are some ideas if you want them. The only thing I really don't want to see here is Blackheart/Nimona. (They should be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER instead.)

1. We see some of Nimona's backstory, but I'd love to know more. Was she really that little girl once up on a time ... or were the parents right? Was she always a creature that just pretended to be a girl? If so, what's her motivation for playing human? Alternately, where does she go after the story ends? Is she hanging around in cat form keeping an eye on Ballister, or has she left for pastures new?

2. Lovers-to-nemeses-to-allies-to-lovers is a favourite relationship trajectory of mine, and Blackheart and Goldenloin gave me everything I wanted in a ship ... except for all the details. I don't necessarily mean porn (although porn is great and welcome!) but all of the stuff we don't get to see, before and after the timeline of the series. The Christmas strip set when they were both just scrappy orphans is one of the best parts of the story for me.

3. I think my favourite moment in the whole series is when Ballister spills all those feelings he's been stoically repressing all over Meredith Blitzmeyer, who is probably the LEAST qualified person to deal with them, and she deals anyway. I love that they end up as colleagues, because heaven knows Ballister could use another friend, and Blitzmeyer could probably use someone slightly more connected to reality to tell her when nearby things are on fire. Anything about their work together would be lovely. Does Blitzmeyer keep working on her Anomalous Energy Enhancer? Does she ever get it to do things other than glowing green and incidentally saving the kingdom?

Stuff I love about this fandom: mad science, dragons, villain bonding, Nimona turning into a shark with boobs, the contrast between Blackheart's lawful perspective and Nimona's chaotic one, that it starts out silly and spirals into a maelstrom of plot and feelings, arguments about pizza toppings, Nimona being frightened of zombies, always making time for tea.

I know that 'I just want moooooooore' is often an unhelpful Yuletide prompt, but, uh, here we are. The comic is simultaneously the perfect length and nowhere near enough for me. I love the world building here, too - science and magic blend so seamlessly that it takes a few chapters to realize how everything works, and we never find out a lot of detail about the kingdom or the Institute or what other kinds of creatures and magic exist in the world. That's something else you could play around with if you wanted.


Within the Wires

Characters: Any

I'm writing these prompts at an awkward point in time, eight episodes into a ten episode season. Feel free to incorporate stuff from the last two episodes OR ignore it if you had a brilliant idea which was then Jossed.

1. We've spent the entire canon up to this point hearing everything from Hester's point of view, and it would be fascinating to hear some of this story from the perspective of literally anyone else. What does Oleta actually think about any of this? What about her sister? The other employees and inmates at the institute? How reliable is Hester's narration, anyway?

2. Assuming that Hester and Oleta manage to meet again face to face, how is that going to go? Has Oleta forgiven her? Has she remembered anything of their shared past? I ship the hell out of them, while simultaneously thinking that this is not going to turn out the way Hester is apparently hoping it will, with the joyous reunion and the cottage by the sea. I'm just as happy for you to keep things gen, however, because the relationship is fascinating either way.

3. I'd love to see some world building, too. How did society get like this? Is it like this all over the planet, or only wherever Hester and Oleta live? Just how many people are pretending they've fogotten things that they aren't meant to remember? This prompt may lend itself to original characters rather than established ones, especially if you want to write something set in the past explaining how stuff got this way. If you want to go in that direction feel free.

Stuff I love about this fandom: Everything that isn't in it because so much goes unsaid here, Janina Matthewson's amazing performance that somehow paints a whole world and makes me forget that this whole thing is all one woman talking, listening out for subliminal messages in the music, Jeffrey Cranor's scented candle recommendations, getting distracted wondering what that bear was doing in that field.

This podcast was a slow burn for me - the first episode imitated a relaxation tape a little too well and literally put me to sleep. Gradually I became more and more invested, and by half way through the season I was completely hooked. Will Oleta ever get out? Will she remember Hester? What if Hester gets caught? What if somebody is already monitoring the tapes and she doesn't know? What if the whole thing is some kind of sadistic experiment and Hester is lying and doesn't know Oleta at all and it's all a lie?! Moreover, how did any of this even get started? Do lots of people remember things from their childhood and just pretend that it was all wiped away? Is there someone else that Oleta's sister does remember, her own person that she smiles at in the park in hope that one day they'll recognize her? I'd just love to hear anything at all about these characters and this world.



A Note On Yule Porn

I will be delighted with any gen you write (I mostly write gen myself, and I don't regard it as a substitute for anything) or anything romantic but not explicit, but I know that some writers like to Make The Yuletide Pornographic, and hey, I am all in favour of that! So this is just in case you do want to write Yule Porn, because I have some porn-specific likes and dislikes.

Porn Specific Stuff I Do Not Like: Bodily fluids other than the ones traditionally involved in sex - so no watersports, bloodplay, etc. If there is domming to be done in a heterosexual relationship, I prefer it to be done by the woman. (I do not care who tops in same-sex pairings.) Also, I'd prefer no underage characters in sexual situations.

Porn-Specific Stuff I Like: My favourite kinks include bondage, pegging and sex pollen. Also robots and tentacles. (Of the fandoms I've requested, Nimona seems like it might have robots and/or tentacles around somewhere, and who knows what's going on in Within the Wires?) Other types of non-standard sex that reflect the odd details of speculative settings. (So, does Hester send Oleta a sex tape of the spoken word kind? What kind of x-rated things is Ballister inventing in his lab? How do people even have sex in the Land Of The Dead?)
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andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Andraste

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