keeping it vaguely imaginary (_afterism) wrote,
keeping it vaguely imaginary

dear yuletide writer


First of all: you're awesome, and I'm incredibly easy to please, so everything's going to be fine.

Optional details are very much optional, and I would be genuinely delighted with any fic about these characters. Everything under the fandom specfics is just me trying to give you as much as possible to work with - there's no particular idea that I'm desperately hoping for, so please take anything that you're inspired by and feel free to ignore the rest!

If you want to procrastinate find out more about what I like: yuletide tag for previous years' letters and stuff, AO3 for my fic and bookmarks, and tumblr for fandoms/ships/tag novels, etc.

Things I Like: stories that focus on the characters and their development and relationships, plotty fic and domestic fic and everything in between, AUs of absolutely any kind, universes where homosexuality and queer characters are treated as entirely normal and not even worth an eyebrow raise, ridic tropes like bodyswap and sexpollen and suddenly! telepathy!, cracky concepts that written relatively seriously, fics that play with formatting and timelines and storytelling, women who are awesome and competent and friends with other women, UST that takes a long time to get resolved, banter and snark and people being sarcastic instead of saying how they really feel, first kisses, getting together, and christmas fic.

Things I don't like: non-con, permanent character death, abuse of any kind, homophobia, bleak and hopeless endings. I am a little bit flexible on these, especially in dark!fic, but please have a very good narrative reason if you do include any of them.
(eta, but mainly to remind myself to include this in next year's letter: I really, really dislike snails, and I'd be massively grateful if you avoided all mention of them. I know this is an incredibly specific and odd request! and probably irrelevant to what you're writing and even if it isn't it certainly won't ruin a fic for me, but it will make me cringe, so. a warning would be nice? if there's more than a passing mention of them? /ridiculous phobia confessions)

Topher Brink
If you're unfamiliar with the fandom but curious: IMDB and it's very easy to find DVDs/streaming options. It's a Joss Whedon project, so consider that fair warning for awesomeness to incredibly heartbreaking character death ratio (it is very much worth it. but also, ow.)
Anything set during or after Epitaph - something that explores how Topher ended up working directly for Rossum again, and what happened while he was there that broke him so completely. Or, find a way for him to survive in the end and show me how he pieces himself back together. Dark, twisty fic is kind of inevitable (and wonderful!), and I would be utterly delighted with anything that explored Topher's conscience and morality and the way he views the world.

That said, broken!Topher breaks my heart in the worst/best ways and I would be equally delighted with anything that was set pre-canon, or pre-the beginning of the end, where Topher was still mostly his nerdy, snarky, morality-free self. Show me what he was like at college! Or tell me about the adventures he has on his birthday, or why he's so into the human brain (if you want to get technical and nerdy on me I would be thrilled! because I am a total nerd about the human brain, but I also really love the pseudoscience and how Topher/the show uses a lot of analogies and vague terms (the squigglies!) to describe it, so please don't feel like I'm going to be nitpicky about any science bits!), or how he came to work for the Dollhouse.
So, I would be delighted with pretty much any kind of fic as long as it focuses on Topher! I love the way he's so matter-of-fact about his genius and his work and the Dollhouse, how he's consciously shallow and childish and can talk to anybody but has no idea how to reach out, his complete lack of morals that turns out to not be complete. I'd love anything that explores his morality and nerdiness and passions and the limits of a conscience that doesn't get tested often. I'm kind of torn between wanting something that celebrates how perfectly ridiculous he is, and something that explores what happens when a brilliant mind is broken. So, that's your decision! :D

I'd love to see something where he survives in the end (due to a remote detonator, or a timer, or anything that doesn't involve someone else dying in his place) and deals with how fractured his mind has become just to deal with the all horrors - a story that's as broken up and occasionally incoherent as he is could be amazing. Or something set during the ten(?) years he was at Rossum, pretending to figure out how to wipe out the rest of world, and having to watch someone die everyday until he did - how long did it take before they started using that tactic, and when did he start breaking? My only caveat for that is please no physical or sexual abuse; the mental abuse Topher was inflicting on himself was plenty enough to destroy him.

For anything set pre-apocalypse, I'd love something light and cracky and fun - or, at least, not overwhelmingly dark and serious, because for the most part Topher is never dark and serious. Even when things are serious he's refreshingly terrible at responding appropriately (and, just throwing out ridic ideas, it could be awesome to see Topher dealing with an apocalypse that he wasn't partially responsible for? or maybe a minor zombie one that he set up as a birthday present to himself?). Enver Gjokaj's impression of Topher is one of the highlights of the show for me, so fic with two Tophers and the ridiculous/brilliant things they get up to could be fantastic, and I'd be fascinated with anything that plays with the limits of what you can do with imprinting. Anything that gives more Topher backstory, or examines what makes him tick, or just has fun with what Topher does on a daily basis (!) would be wonderful.

The only thing I would like to request is that whatever you write is somewhere between gen and R-rated. You can have him in a relationship of any kind, platonic or otherwise - I love his relationship with Adelle, and Bennett (fix-it fic would be perfect), and pre-reveal Boyd, and I'd be delighted to see more of that but I would prefer it if it stayed as complex and snarky and low-rated as the show. (My personal headcanon is that Topher is asexual, but that's not a requirement for you to include and I don't mind at all if that's not how you see him!)

(I have a lot of Topher ideas at the moment, because I just finished marathoning Dollhouse in the space of three days. Please don't let the length of this one put you off if you're assigned to another fandom for me! or intimidate you if you are assigned to this one, even. I'm just slightly overwhelmed with feelings.)

Discworld - Terry Pratchett
Havelock Vetinari | Samuel Vimes | Cheery Littlebottom
If you're unfamiliar with the fandom but curious: Discworld is a series of (currently 39) fantasy books by Terry Prachett, which are brilliant and funny and somewhat hard to explain in their entirety so I'm just going to link you to the Wikipedia article and this article about where to start reading them. :D
I would love pretty much anything that focused on any of these characters! Casefic that brought them all together would be amazing - tell me about another time someone tried to bring down one of the Guilds, or the Patrician, or the entirety of Ankh-Morpork, and how far Vetinari let it continue, and how Vimes eventually figured it out. I love Vetinari being quietly and extremely clever - it would be great to see more of him when he was at the Assassin's Guild, or tell me about his typical day. For Cheery, anything about what being a forensic alchemist in Ankh-Morpork generally entails, or more about her friendship with Angua! Vimes is quite possibly my Favourite Character Of All Time, so I would love anything about him, something set in the Watch or with Sybil or including Young Sam, because I love seeing people with important jobs having quiet, domestic moments (even though those moments are always interrupted).

I love all the alternative history and pop-culture references, so if you want to take an historical event or classic literature and and show me how it would go down in the Discworld, I would be delighted! World-building fic would be just as awesome as a character study.
You don't have to include all three characters - you can focus on just one, or two (I would be delighted with the obvious combinations, but Vetinari & Cheery somehow working together would be endlessly fascinating), and similarly you can include any other characters that you like! I'm especially fond of Sybil if you're going to write about Vimes and/or Vetinari (and if you want to write polyamorous fic about all three I would be both in awe and probably rolling on the floor with excitement), and Angua (especially her friendship with Cheery! a fic that is entirely just the two of them talking would be wonderful!), and I really love Death's cameos, even if he only appears in one line.

This is probably the fandom where I'm least sure about what I might want, because I haven't read all the Discworld books and I don't know everything about these characters and I would genuinely be delighted with anything, so. Um. Feel free to take this in any direction you like, and don't worry about spoiling me for books I might not have read, or basing your whole story on something I might not be familiar with - I'm reading the books in whatever order I can find them, and if you give me a quick summary of the things I need to know/give me a link in the author's note, that'll be fine!

In case it is useful, here's a list of the Discworld books I have read or will have finished reading before Yuletide (the Watch novels are my favourite, in case that wasn't obvious from my request):
[click]Mort, Reaper Man, Wyrd Sisters, Men at Arms, Maskerade, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Truth, Thief of Time, Night Watch, Monstrous Regiment, Thud!, Unseen Academicals, Snuff.

Doctor Who RPF
Matt Smith | Arthur Darvill | Karen Gillan
If you're unfamiliar with the fandom but curious: this is kind of hard to summarise! um, here are a load of things (mostly from tumblr) about why I love these perfectly ridiculous actors so much: absolutely everything about The Last Days of the Ponds video, but especially 'Part-time lovers, occasionally time travelers'; because look at these fucking hipsters, no seriously look; that time where Matt & Arthur taught Karen how to pet a horse; the vast amount of in-jokes and ridiculousness that only comes with spending way too much time with someone (in fact, everything about this interview); and, actually, I'm getting most of these off my karen gillan tag on tumblr, so feel free to browse that! (and for the sake of completeness, arthur darvill and matt smith tags! there's quite a lot crossposting, because I really, really love it when these three are together.)
If you're up for writing it, I'd love to see all three in a (dsy)functional polyamorous relationship - either exploring how they all came together in the first place, or how they manage to keep it together now. I would be equally pleased with Arthur/Matt, or Matt/Karen, and I could be easily convinced on Karen/Arthur as long as Matt has plenty to do in the fic as well! Porn is very much optional - I'm more interested in the dynamic between everyone, and how they make it work, and if you'd prefer to write gen or pre-relationship fic then as long it's still about how these three fit together I will be thrilled!

AUs of any kind would be awesome - inept spies! bakery AU! disney movie fusions! hipsters, hipsters everywhere! if you want to get cracky and meta, then Hipsters In Space would work for me on so many levels (as long as it was clearly a cracky RPS AU, and not a sneaky way of getting a Doctor Who fic into yuletide. That's not what I'm requesting)! And, if you'd like, a deliciously meta Inspector Spacetime crossover would actually make me shriek with joy.
I love Karen's mad energy and endless enthusiasm about seemingly everything, Matt's dorkiness and clumsiness and the way he gets excited about everything, Arthur's humour and sarcasm and fondness for hideous sweaters that is only rivaled by Matt's and how he's a bit more reserved than the others, but perfectly capable of keeping up with them. I really, really love how silly they are when they're together, in the kind of way you can only be when you're 100% comfortable around someone, and how they bounce off each other and have ridic in-jokes and are basically the perfect trio.

I am pretty much open to any direction you want to take this - something about the day to day life on set, and how they keep each other amused in the long wait between filming, or domestic fic about them all living together and maybe phone sex when they're apart, or how they feel about no longer seeing each other every day, or an AU where Matt and Karen are spies and Arthur is their long-suffering handler, or ghost hunters, or college fic, or they're caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, or absolutely any other kind of AU you want. These three are ridiculous and wonderful and I love the intense relationship that forms from working with each other so closely for so long, so anything canon or AU that explores that would be perfect. And I know it sounds like I've got my heart set on OT3 fic, but I would genuinely be utterly delighted with something gen or just about two people in a relationship, so please don't stress if that's not what you want to write!

If you are interested in writing about a polyamorous relationship: I'm usually all about the first kisses and getting together, but for OT3 fic I would be equally fascinated by how the relationship works a few months in, or even after a couple of years. It doesn't have to be smooth all the way - show me the conflict! Tell me about all the ways it really shouldn't work, but they're all so hopelessly in love with each other that they refuse to let it fall apart.

I Am Not A Princess - Marina and the Diamonds (Music Video)
If you're unfamiliar with the fandom but curious: Youtube link. It's a ten minute feminist retelling of classic princess fairytales, full of girls taking charge and following their heart and generally being awesome and inspirational, set to a perfect mix of songs from The Family Jewels. Even if you're not matched with me on this fandom, go watch it!
I would love absolutely anything inspired by this video! Tell me more about any of the princesses (Belle and Sleeping Beauty are possibly my favourites, but I love every story), or the fairy godmothers who go around and give princesses the courage and opportunity to go for what they really want, or tell me more about this version of Wonderland which apparently steals young girls away and gives them strong female role models! Or you could retell another fairytale in this style - I love discovering new fairytales, so don't worry if you want to write about one that's not very well-known. Anything that captured the beauty and magic and kickass ladies vibe of the video would be perfect.
This is probably the easiest fandom to pick up if you've been matched to a different fandom for me but want to write something else! The source is only ten minutes long and there is so much you could do with it. I have no particular strong ideas about what I want from this, so feel free to ignore my request entirely and write whatever you want in this universe, because I would be delighted with anything! Femslash between the princesses or genderswapping the princes would also be lovely, but that's totally up to you. The only definite request I do have is that it focuses on the girls - I'd prefer something that shows the world from the princess's point of view, rather than something that shows the princess from the prince's point of view, if that makes sense.

(also, an incredibly silly and more optional than optional prompt, just because my fourth request was originally going to be for Elementary: What would Joan Watson do if she was trapped in one of these fairytales?)
Tags: apologies for the essay?, yuletide

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