Dear Yuletide Writer

Yuletide signups are open, and will run until 8 p.m. EST on Monday, if you were thinking of joining us for some holiday fun.


Hello, Yulegoat! I know you haven’t written a word yet, but I already want to thank you. Last year was my first time doing Yuletide, and I had a blast, which means this year I’m already happy because I know how awesome it is to have somebody write a fic for me. This year, that’s you, and I want you to know I appreciate it.

The optional details below are optional; they are also, ummm, long. Please do not be intimidated. The length comes from me talking about what I like about the sources, and offering a variety of suggestions as to what kinds of stories would interest me; you’re welcome to use any of them, or to springboard off of them into something else you think I’d like. Basically, I’m just trying to feed the plotbunnies. (There are also more general notes about my tastes at the bottom.)

Edit, very belated: My username on AO3 is russian_blue.

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Fandom: Gabriel Knight
Characters: Gabriel Knight, Grace Nakimura

What I love about the source: The balance of humour and darkness, the way the stories made use of real-world history and folklore, and the sense that Gabriel was a flawed but still basically good man.

What I’d love to get: All right, I admit it — I’m still sore we never got a fourth game. πŸ™‚ That’s the problem with having a game series with actual character development arcs; when those get cut off short, it leaves me unsatisfied!

Which is by way of saying: what I would really love here is a story giving closure of some generally upbeat kind to the relationship between Gabe and Grace. They slept together in Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, then never really talked about it, and then Grace bailed out and we didn’t even get to read her note and auuuuuuuggggggggggggggh.

The closure could take whatever form you like (and be from whichever point of view you like, or both). Grace, presumably, was going to talk to that guy in India she’d been e-mailing, about fighting supernatural evil in her own right. Maybe Gabe goes after her. Maybe he doesn’t, and she shows up again a few years later, after becoming some kind of full-blown Schattenjager equivalent herself. Maybe they run into each other without warning when they both go after the same supernatural beastie. I’d love to see Grace treated as Gabe’s professional equal (I think she’s always been his equal in personal terms), rather than a sidekick, and for him to accept her as such — which is not to say he should have a personality transplant and suddenly be without flaws or blind spots, but I feel like he’s been struggling with a lot of issues there, and it would nice to see him continue to grow.

As I said, I’d like there to be a happy ending eventually — get your mind out of the gutter! I mean happy emotions! — but I don’t mind angst along the way. (Where “happy endings” are concerned, wink wink nudge nudge — eh, I really care more about the emotional resolution. They can sleep together or not, as you like, but I’m not looking for smut.) If you have the time and energy, I would ADORE something plotty, with a supernatural threat they have to take care of. (Flavor of threat is entirely up to you. Rumour had it the fourth game would have taken place in Scotland and dealt with ghosts; run with that if you want, or grab any cool bit of folklore and history that you know and want to play with.)

If, on the other hand, you detest that entire relationship, then I could also be fine with a story that is just about Grace doing something cool, post-canon. You don’t have to be a Ritter and the Schattenjager to fight supernatural evil, after all.

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Fandom: Repo! The Genetic Opera
Characters: Magdalene Defoe (Blind Mag), the GraveRobber

What I love about the source: The weird dystopian aspects (which didn’t get explored enough for my taste), the grit vs. glamour, and the GraveRobber, whose voice is goddamn hot. πŸ™‚

What I’d love to get: Last year I requested a crossover, and lucked out in that my writer wanted to do it; I figure I might as well try asking for another one this year. But if you don’t know the other source or don’t want to write anything related to it, stay tuned — I have some optional details for a stand-alone, too, which would also make me very happy!

The crossover idea is based on the fact that Blind Mag is played by Sarah Brightman . . . who also originated the role of Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera. And, y’know, both characters are singers. So the idea is some kind of story wherein Blind Mag is Christine Daae. How and why this happened, not to mention how she’s around instead of being dead and gone a century past, is up to you; I’d like it to involve the GraveRobber (maybe he dug up Christine’s grave, and for some reason she wasn’t dead/came back to life?), but whatever idea fires your imagination, go for it.

If you don’t want to do the crossover, then Blind Mag is optional; I’d be interested in a story about her (especially the eyes — those are really cool; what kinds of things have they recorded?), but really, let’s face it, I am shallow, and the Graverobber is hot. πŸ™‚ Anything focusing on his work would be cool, and if you write about both of them, maybe they’re friends for some reason? My GK request above notwithstanding, I’m a sucker for good platonic friendships between men and women.

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Fandom: Sky High
Characters: Warren Peace

What I love about the source: I firmly believe the best parodies are written out of deep love for the material, rather than actual mockery. Sky High is a fine example. I’m also a sucker for treating these kinds of things “realistically” — in this case, by imagining what it’s like to be the kids of superheroes (or supervillains), in a world where such things are commonplace.

What I’d love to get: I limited my request to Warren because I’d like the story to focus on him — let’s face it; pyrokinetic bad boys are hot, kind of by definition πŸ™‚ — but feel free to include anybody else from the film, nominated or not, that suits your plot. I’d prefer not to see him shipped with Layla (which I know is common), mostly because I’d rather respect the childhood-sweetheart thing she has going on in canon; you can put him with the frost-power girl we see at the end, if you have nifty ideas for that, or an original character, or nobody at all — the story doesn’t have to be shippy in the first place. (I’m actually a hard sell on romance, especially in something this short, so let me translate that to: if romance is what you usually write, don’t feel constrained to avoid it, but otherwise it’s totally optional.)

Story-wise, I could go for pretty much anything that is The Continuing Adventures of Superhero High School. I liked the ensemble from the movie, particularly the sidekick group, and would like to see something that delivers on the line from the end of the movie, about how “my girlfriend became my arch-enemy, my arch-enemy became my best friend, and my best friend became my girlfriend.” You could explore a clever idea for something else like Power Placement or Save the Citizen, or the ways that superpowers tie into various adolescent tropes. More specifically to Warren, there’s the backstory note about his mom’s a superhero and his dad’s a supervillain; it would be neat to see something arising out of that. I wouldn’t mind seeing it get a bit angsty if you go that route, but I do love the touches of humour that get slid in all over the place, so it shouldn’t get too dark.

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Fandom: Elfquest
Characters: none

What I love about the source: Oh god, where do I start? This was, for many years, the only comic book I had ever read. It’s still one of the deep foundational stories in my mind. I love how well-realized the characters are, and the capacity for the narrative to be about the ensemble and subsets thereof, rather than just Cutter’s story, with everybody else playing bit parts. I love the way conflict is handled, never being casually dismissed, or treated as if violence is a get-out-of-jail-free card for everything. I love the consequences, and the fact that the characters experience both real losses and real victories.

What I’d love to get: This request is stupidly open-ended, and I admit it. If that’s a problem, feel free to contact teleidoplex and she’ll serve as a go-between for questions — but really, there are so many things I could be happy with, you should be safe.

I left the characters off from this one because this is a fandom where really, I just want MOAR ELFQUEST DAMMIT. I’ve read possibly everything there is — certainly I’ve read most of it, including the far-future Jink stuff — though nothing after Kings of the Broken Wheel quite scratched the itch, as the world started being farmed out to other writers. It doesn’t have to be canon for the known characters, though. While I do have favorites (Clearbrook and Strongbow lead the list, but really, I like pretty much all of them), there aren’t any specific stories I want to see told with those people. (About the only thing I’m not keen on seeing is The Further Adventures of How Winnowill Is the Problem That Keeps on Giving.)

I’d love to see, well, anything else exploring the world. History for any of the original four canon tribes (life under a past Wolfrider chief, the founding or development of the Sun Village, Go-Backs vs. trolls, the Gilders in their glory days), or a different story about the contact between the elves and humans after the end of Kings of the Broken Wheel (i.e. an AU to take the place of the Shards storyline, which I confess I wasn’t too wild about), or something about a totally new tribe (your own sea elves, or jungle elves, or any other environment that strikes your fancy). Basically, pretend the Pinis came to you and said: we’ve decided to hire you on to expand the Elfquest universe! Do whatever you like! You don’t even have to draw the pictures!

(Though wow — if you’re an artist and decide you want to make a comic for Yuletide, do NOT let me stand in your way. I will rec you to the skies, just for being that psychotically hard-core.)

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More generally: I love stuff with actual plot in, but since I know that can be a lot of work, I would also be very happy with something that really examines the characters (or world, for those requests that aren’t character-focused). I prefer stories that stay close to the characters as written, respecting canon relationships, working with flaws rather than sweeping them under the rug, etc. Even in the most cracky of my requests — the Phantom/Repo! crossover — I’d rather it be presented as “this could be the secret unknown backstory” rather than something that blatantly alters the existing narrative. Go ahead and include any canon characters I’ve not listed that might be useful to you, or invent OCs to serve your narrative needs.

I adore drama; I also like humour, especially when it’s of the “witty” variety rather than physical comedy or gross-out excess, but I love it best when it’s used as leavening for the more serious stuff, or as the jab to set up the dramatic roundhouse that follows. (The kind of thing Joss Whedon excels at, if you want an example.) I don’t like humiliation, or characters being flat-out stupid — which is not the same thing as their flaws getting in the way of good decisions. πŸ™‚ Not really looking for smut. I don’t mind violence, as long as it doesn’t cross the line into splatterpunk gore, but I don’t like torture. Especially against women: by all means let them fight, but please don’t victimize them, or refrigerator them, or push canonical women to the sidelines of the story.

I haven’t written much fanfic — and most of what I’ve done was for last year’s Yuletide — but you can see my meagre output here. If you check the fanfiction tag, you can see other posts I’ve made on the subject, which might give you additional clues, or you can check out my original work.

Thank you again, and please, above all: have fun!

0 Responses to “Dear Yuletide Writer”

  1. Anonymous

    My first winter in Edinburgh I stayed in a huge top floor flats with ceilings high enough that we needed a stepladder to change the light bulbs. Turning on the central heating was a luxury restricted to two short blocks per day, except when the boys (PhD students to my undergrad status) were ill with manflu. Then it was on all day.

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