Dear NPT Writer

Whether you are my assigned writer (I’m russian_blue on AO3) or someone browsing the NPT letters, thanks for stopping by! I tend (generalizing from a whopping three examples here: two Yuletides and one Parallels exchange) to write rambly letters, but please don’t let that put you off. I love the whole notion of a fic exchange, and am delighted when somebody writes a story Just For Me. But I’m the sort of writer who gets paralyzed when I’m not sure what my recipient might enjoy, so I probably go overkill in providing information. Use whatever here is useful to you, and ignore the rest!

General stuff first: My Phantom request notwithstanding, I tend to be fond of fics that are an extension or fleshing-out of canon, rather than a revision. This means that if you like the source well enough to offer it, you probably like a lot of the same things I do about it — so when in doubt, if it seems like it fits with canon, you can be pretty sure I’ll enjoy it. 🙂

My requests here aren’t very shippy, either in the fluff or PWP sense, though I don’t mind relationships entering the story where appropriate. I adore plotty fics, but since that can be a lot of work, I would also be happy with something that really digs into the characters. Humour is great so long as it’s more on the witty end of things; humiliation or characters being too stupid to breathe makes me cringe. (Which is not the same thing as their flaws leading them to make bad decisions. That, I’m fine with.) Violence is also fine — in fact, at least one of my suggestions below has the potential to get really twisted — but I’m not very keen on seeing women get victimized, given how widespread it is in other media. Angst, however, is very tasty. 🙂

If you need more data on what I like, you can check out my fics; feel free skip past the fairy-tale retellings, which are actually original works (so to speak) that I posted to the AO3, and not very representative of me in the context of fanfic. Or you can look under the fanfiction tag; skip past the stuff about the Aurors exchange, and you’ll find my thoughts on various ficcy things.

And now, the actual requests!

Fandom: Phantom of the Opera
Character: Christine Daae

Let me say up front that I know optional details are optional, and that goes extra double true for a crossover request, since it involves a fandom you didn’t offer and might not even know. But I’ve had luck with this before, so I figure I might as well try; if the crossover does not float your boat, then skip the next bit.

The idea comes from watching Repo! The Genetic Opera and noticing that Blind Mag — a singer — is played by Sarah Brightman. Who also, of course, originated the role of Christine (likewise a singer, duh) in Phantom. So I got this cracked-out notion: what if Blind Mag was Christine? You’d need some way to explain how the heck she got from the past to the dystopian future; I figure it involves the GraveRobber digging her up and finding she isn’t dead/somehow reanimating her/whatever, but beyond that, who knows. I would adore a story that invents a connection between those two.

If you don’t know that movie and don’t want to watch it, or have watched it and don’t like it, or whatever, then that’s okay! I am also fine with a vanilla Phantom story. In this case, I’d love something set post-musical, and it doesn’t even have to be about Christine. See, on the whole I wasn’t a fan of the recent movie version (mostly because I think the show is designed to be seen at a distance, and when you put the camera right up in people’s faces the melodrama gets to be too much), but I very much liked the moments where it showed details a stage production can’t really convey. Particularly, I liked the exchange of glances between Madame Giry and Raoul (I think that’s who was there) during the auction at the beginning: the sense that they’re the only two people present who understand what all that stuff really means. It suggests a whole wealth of character baggage; you have to figure that anybody who was there for the Phantom’s antics will remember them for decades afterward. Pick a character who interests you (including people not nominated; I don’t care) and tell me about that aftermath.

Fandom: Good Omens
Characters: Hastur and Agnes Nutter

When nominations were underway, I was browsing people’s comments on LJ/DW about what they’d put in, and saw boundbooks’ characters included Hastur and Agnes Nutter. As I said at the time, my brain automatically tries to imagine what kind of story the person might be thinking of, that leads them to choose those characters; and I kind of sprained something on that pair. Our subsequent joke turned into something I’d really love to see: “The Temptation of Agnes Nutter, Witch.” The epic tale of how Hastur was sent to distract Agnes Nutter from writing her prophecies, and Failed Utterly. 😀

That’s the main idea, but I love this book so much, I’d eat up pretty much anything else you wanted to write.

Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: any

Okay, I have a secret to confess: sometimes — especially in DA2 — I run through zones I don’t have to (like going from the Hanged Man through Lowtown and Hightown to get to the Viscount’s Keep), and choose my party based on what combinations I haven’t used much, just to hear my companions talk to each other. I find them utterly hilarious. The companions are, in my opinion, one of the great strengths of Bioware’s games; they are awesome people, and richly enough characterized that I want to know more about them.

I picked “any” because all of these requests are individual to various companions, and while there are some I’m more interested in than others, I didn’t want to pick such a random assortment that nobody would match with me. (And besides, there are more than four I’d be interested in.) Mostly I want backstory for them, tales of what happened before they wound up with the Warden or Hawke — but because they’re such different people, “backstory” covers a whole range of story types, so you’re welcome to run with whatever comes alive for you.

(I should mention that I’m much less interested in stories that include the Warden or Hawke, mostly because everybody’s vision of those characters is very different. But you can include any other canonical characters suit your story, and of course make up your own as needed.)

Alistair — I adore Alistair. He is like Joscelin (from Jacqueline Carey’s first Kushiel trilogy), with a much better sense of humour. I’m apparently a sucker for the semi-fallen religious warrior? I would love a story about Alistair in his Templar-and-Chantry days. He doesn’t show terribly strong faith in the game — not like Leliana — was he more religious before, and lost it somehow, or did the Maker never mean much to him? Or does he have his own personal take on those things, that he doesn’t talk about much? (This makes it sound like I want a deep meditation on faith. I’m not averse to that, but I tend to assume any story about Alistair would be light-hearted along with its depth.) Hijinks and/or the events that led to him becoming a Grey Warden; both would be awesome, separately or together.

Fenris — I adore Fenris, too, in a totally different way. (Much of it centering on the voice. <siiiiiigh>) He’s angsty without being a dick to Hawke, which is a balancing act few writers manage. This, then, is the Very Dark Option: tell me a story about his time under his master’s thumb. What kinds of things did Danarius and Hadriana do to him, and what did they make him do? Feel free to get as twisted as you like. (Not purely sexual, though. That can be a component if you want, but I’m not looking for smut.)

Anders — Here, I must admit, my adoration is segmented. I love DA:A Anders, but for DA2, I have to invent a headcanon in which dealing with Justice has completely rewritten his personality. (And even then, I have to ignore things he says about the Wardens, because they don’t remotely fit the story of my game.) I’d be interested in a story about one or more of his escape attempts from the Circle pre-DA:A, but I’d prefer more of the lighthearted DA:A tone than the angry DA2 one — though if you want to hint at darkness, i.e. the abuses Anders talks about in the second game, that’s fine.

Merrill — oh, Merrill. Most adorable little blood mage ever. (Seriously, it’s the accent. And the lines they give her.) I’d like the story of Merrill’s deal with the demon, in between the two games: how the heck did that end up happening?

Flemeth — pretty much anything about Flemeth. 🙂 I’m pretty convinced her appearance in DA2 is mostly to explain how she survives DA:O/remind players she exists, because Bioware has something big in mind for her later. Either way, she is clearly a hell of a lot more than just the Witch of the Wilds. If you have ideas for what that “more” is, then share!

Those are the ones for which I have a particularly strong yen, but I’d also be cool with Isabela (pirate ship adventures!), Morrigan (growing up with Flemeth, or what she does after DA:O/Witch Hunt), Shale (becoming a golem — that one could be really twisted, too — or silliness about hunting pigeons), Sigrun (love on Sigrun; she’s just so cheerful!), Varric (sexiest dwarf EVER — again, it’s the voice), etc. Companions FTW.

Fandom: The Avengers (2012)
Characters: Clint Barton (Hawkeye), Natasha Romanov (Black Widow)

This is a last-minute addition, born out of the fact that this movie made me a shipper. No, really: I’ve never been the sort of person who craved fic about a pairing, until now.

As I said in the comments to that post (and in my signup), what I love here is that it’s a romance built on friendship and teamwork, rather than lust. I’d adore a fic that works within that paradigm. It could tell me about Natasha’s recruitment into SHIELD (Hawkeye being sent to kill her, and refraining), or Budapest, or one of the things Loki mentioned. Or it could revolve around Clint being mind-controlled; Natasha was playing Loki in that conversation, but did the things he said hurt her? And how do the two of them deal with the aftermath? Or something slipped into the cracks between the movie scenes: I was a little disappointed that a good concussion will cure the mind-control, and like the notion that it actually took a bit more than she admitted. A “missing scene” where Natasha (with or without the help of others, like Maria Hill or Nick Fury) has to work to deprogram Hawkeye would make me very happy. (This option may have been brought to you by the Hunger Games series and my fondness for the angst caused by seeing somebody you care about brainwashed into trying to kill you.)

As I mentioned in my signup, I haven’t been tracking the fandom for this at all, which means I’m not familiar with the fanon that got created before the movie came out. Because of that, I’d very much prefer a story that works with characters and events as they’re presented in canon, rather than the fandom versions invented beforehand. (I’m also not at all familiar with comics canon, though it sounds like the movie was using elements from that end; feel free to leverage that if you’re well-versed in it, but bear in mind that I may not recognize what you’re referencing.)

Hopefully something in there sparked a plotbunny or two for you. Have fun, and I look foward to seeing the result!

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