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[personal profile] ladybird97
Dear Yuletide 2015 Author,

Thank you! I'm already happy and flattered that you would take the time to write a gift for me.

All of my previous posts about Yuletide are public under my Yuletide tag, so you can see what kinds of stories I've received, written, and liked in the past.

Things I Love
Gen. Romance. Plot. Good dialogue. Bechdel-passing. Strong friendship. Found families. Missing scenes. Casefic. Humor. Sincerity. Characters doing what they're best at doing. Stories that replicate the tone and style of the original.

And a special mention of something I love: crossovers! If you can find a way to make a crossover happen, either between two of my fandoms here or between one of my listed fandoms and an outside one, I will be really really happy. The Sleepy Hollow crew investigates the Being Human werewolves, or goes to the Parrington Museum? The Night Circus goes to Scirland and faces Isabella and Natalie's skepticism? The Bunheads girls go to Hogwarts? Josh from Being Human goes on Masterchef or some other cooking show? Please, go for it! One of my favorite things about Yuletide is seeing all of the creative crossovers that people come up with, and I'd be extra-happy if you wrote one for me.

Absolute Do Not Want:
Explicit sex or violence. Rape, non-con, dubcon. Incest. Humiliation. (Seriously, I can't even watch The Office because humiliation makes me cringe so hard.) Relationships between adults and teens. Violence against children, child abuse, or other children-in-peril. Physical or psychological torture. Misogyny, homophobia, and other bigotry. And please, no 'they act like they hate each other but that's actually because they're in love,' unless that's already been established in canon. I want "no" to mean "no."

Would Rather Not Have
Five Things structure. Angst. Death. Plotless character studies. AUs. Non-canonical pairings that I haven't specified in my request.

Memoirs of Lady Trent: Isabella, Natalie
There are so many things that I love about this series!

I love its meticulous worldbuilding - the way each culture almost maps onto something in the real world, but not quite; the way the majority religion in Scirland is based on Judaism; the way that dragons are so deeply woven into the popular imagination. I also love that it grapples so intensely with the idea of femininity: what it means to be a woman in a restrictive society; and especially how Isabella and Natalie navigate their society as women who don't fit society's expectations of femininity.

I'd be happy with a story about either Natalie or Isabella.

First choice: something Natalie-centric, set during Voyage of the Basilisk. What is she doing back in Scirland? What is she studying? How is she working on her own career and/or helping advance Isabella's? Or, maybe a story set earlier in her life, before she meets Isabella. What was she like as a child or young teen? How did she get interested in science and engineering?

I'm also always happy with anything to do with Isabella herself: a missing scene from one of the books, or a story about her exploring some new place.

Or, if you'd rather not focus on one character in particular, I'd love a story that expands our view of the world, showing us something new about society, geography, dragons. Maybe something set in Scirland's medieval or early-modern past?

Bunheads: Boo, Sasha, Melanie, Ginny
What I love about this show: the strong friendship among the girls, the witty dialogue, the love for art and performance that it conveys.

I'd love an ensemble-cast story that features the core friendship among the four girls and shows how it develops as time goes on. How does their friendship change as they get closer to graduating high school? How do they deal with having to leave home and each other? What are their plans for the future? I also love the ballet-studio scenes, so it would be great to have a story focused on preparation for a recital or another Nutcracker production.

If you want to focus the story on one girl, Boo is my favorite. I'd really love a story that shows her gaining confidence, either in her dancing ability or another aspect of her life. And, what happens when her new sibling is born? What happens in her relationship with Carl? Or, I'd be happy with a romance between two of the girls (Boo/Sasha would be fascinating!) but it's not mandatory.

Sleepy Hollow: Macey, Jenny, Abbie, Ichabod
This show is still eligible for Yuletide? Yay! I'd be happy with a story about any or all of these characters: ensemble stories are fun, but each is great on their own, and the different teams and pairs are great too.

First choice: Anything Macey-centric. I love her irreverence, humor, and independence; I love that she's very much a kid, despite everything she's been through. It would be great to trace her story forwards: where is she now? How is she dealing with her father's absence? How has she been changed by her experiences with the supernatural? I'll be extra happy if she gets to fight crime or save the day.

Second choice: something about Jenny. What was she doing while Abbie was off at Quantico? How does she use her shady connections for good? What did she do when Frank disappeared? Or, to go at it from another angle: for a while, I thought that Abbie and Jenny were going to be the two Witnesses - so, what if that were the case? How would that change things?

Other things I love about the show: Ichabod Vs. Modernity. The deep friendship between Ichabod and Abbie (but nothing more than friendship, please!), especially those quiet moments at the end of an episode when the sunrise music plays and they affirm their friendship for each other. The terrible terrible history - the badness of the history is kind of endearing, but if you want to include some accurate 18th-century history, that would be even awesomer. I'm not a Katrina-hater, but I'm not really that interested in her, so you can leave her out.

Being Human: Nora, Brynn, Josh, Sally.
My requests for this one kind of go in two different directions, either Nora/Brynn or Josh/Sally. So, please don't feel that you need to get them all in if it isn't working.

First choice: Nora/Brynn. For me, the most interesting time for Nora's character was when she realized that she really liked being a werewolf, and had to struggle with what that meant. Was she still a good person? Was she still herself? A lot of those struggles and questions were tied up with her relationship with Brynn, because Brynn embraced, encouraged, and accepted Nora's wolf side. I never really believed that Nora killed Brynn - when Nora returned and said that Brynn was dead, I thought that Nora was either mistaken, or lying about Brynn's death for some reason (maybe to protect her?) and kept expecting Brynn to show up again. So I'd like to see a story exploring Nora's conflicted feelings about her wolf nature and her love for Brynn. It could be about what they did when they were offscreen together, and/or what happened to make Nora either believe that Brynn was dead or pretend that she was, and/or what would happen if Brynn came back several years later.

Second choice: Domestic life in the house, especially focusing on Josh and Sally. I loved the little domestic moments of roommate-hood: Josh cooking, Aidan organizing, Sally hovering. I especially liked the show's running theme of cooking/eating as it relates to humanity: things like Josh's need to cook even though he's the only one who eats, and Aidan's glee in food when he was briefly human. Maybe something fluffy like Josh cooking for Chanukah at the house? I always mildly shipped Josh/Sally, so that would make me extra happy.

The Night Circus: Poppet and Widget
I'm always torn between wanting to continue living in the world and wanting to leave the story just as it is because it's complete already. I love the hazy boundary between magic and reality; I love the sense that there's infinitely more about the circus that we don't know; I love the way that the reveurs made the circus into a better place and the circus's makers into better people, just by loving it.

My favorite characters are Poppet and Widget, so I'd love it if you could feature them. How does their relationship with time set them apart from the rest of the circus, and how do they deal with that over the years? What do they do after the book ends? Would they ever try to leave the circus?

This is an exception to my usual preference for heavily plotted stories, because it's the atmosphere and tone of The Night Circus that I love best. So, don't feel that you need to make a lot happen :) I'd be happy with a story set at any time during the book or after.

The Bone Key: Kyle Murchison Booth, Claudia Coburn
I love the friendship between Kyle and Claudia. They work so well together as a team: her practicality offsets his otherworldliness, and each one's intelligence complements the other's. I'd love to see them on another case together.

Or, I'd love a solo story about Claudia. After that first case with Kyle, did she seek out more encounters with the supernatural, or did she try to run from it? How did she come to work at the Parrington?

Something else I love about these stories is their style. The lyrical restraint and melancholy are just beautiful. So, I'd really like a story that maintains that tone.

Date: 2015-10-20 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sad I can't take part in Yuletide this year, but there's too much risk I'd default... What do you think of new SH? I'm cautiously optimistic.

Date: 2015-10-20 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Totally understand - you've got so many other demands on your time! Maybe you can pinch-hit or treat, if you have enough time and inspiration?

Re: this year's Sleepy Hollow - I share your cautious optimism! I love the return to the monster-of-the-week format, I really like the way Jenny's plot is going, and I love Abbie's new job and new boss. With the introduction of Betsy Ross, they seem to be pretending that Katrina never existed, and that irks me. (There were definitely lots of things that they screwed up in the Katrina plot last season, but I don't think that the answer is to just ignore her existence!) But overall, I'm happy with it.

Date: 2015-10-20 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh man, the Betsy thing feels like a total retcon! But I'm very glad we've left Katrina behind.

Date: 2015-10-21 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Can you tell me more about Memoirs of Lady Trent? I've never heard of it at all. I can/will google too obviously, but you make it sound very intriguing, so tell me more!

Date: 2015-10-21 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, it is fabulous! It's a series by Marie Brennan set in an alternate Victorian-ish world, and it's about a lady naturalist who studies dragons :) It's got witty writing, tight plots, exceptional worldbuilding, and some very thoughtful considerations of gender. The first book in the series is 'A Natural History of Dragons,' and I highly recommend it.

Date: 2015-10-22 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yesssss! Totally relevant to my interests and added to my book list. Thank you!

Date: 2015-10-22 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay! The best thing about Yuletide is spreading the fandom love :) I'm looking forward to hearing what you think about the books!

Date: 2015-10-23 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

While I'm not involved with this at all, can I say that I am so glad to see that I'm not the only one that feels this way:

Humiliation. (Seriously, I can't even watch The Office because humiliation makes me cringe so hard.)

Date: 2015-10-23 10:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
YES! I just can't deal.

*sits in the non-humiliation corner with you*
Edited Date: 2015-10-23 10:58 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-12-13 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Something else I love about these stories is their style. The lyrical restraint and melancholy are just beautiful.

A drive-by recommendation says, many of the Bone Key stories are deliberately in the style of an amazing Victorian ghost story writer called M R James, do check him out if you're not already familiar! :-)

Date: 2015-12-13 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The name rings a bell, but I don't think I've read anything by him. I'll make sure to check out his work. Thanks so much for the rec!

Date: 2015-12-13 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hope you enjoy :-)


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