wasuremono: A lantern hung on a string with bouquets of flowers. (nothing but flowers)
[personal profile] wasuremono
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you! I know it's sort of a smarmy sentiment, but seriously, thank you for participating in Yuletide and reading this letter. If you're my assigned writer, I hope you enjoy the writing process this year, and if you're not, I hope you enjoy this letter anyway. Before we get started, there are two major points I'd like you to keep in mind.

1. None of the fandoms on my list is a gimme/consolation-prize fandom. If I requested it, I really, truly want to read fic about it. (This is probably obvious since I only have three requests this year, but it's still worth noting!) I may write varying amounts in the letter about them, but I'll be delighted to read fic about any of them.

All of my canons are available online, although two of them (Dangan Ronpa and Sorcery!) are a bit lengthy. In the event of a last-minute pinch hit or other Yuletide-mergency that requires you to get canon knowledge quickly, I'd recommend They Were Eleven, which is short and punchy.

2. Write what you love. I'll probably love it too. This gets said a lot in Yuletide, but it's true; what I want most of all is for you to write fic that you want to write. I realize my prompts and letter are sort of effort-walls, and obviously I would prefer you read them and consider my likes and dislikes, but I'm not going to nitpick my gift(s) to death for ABSOLUTE PROMPT COMPLIANCE. Write happily and in good faith, and all shall be well.

With that out of the way, here are some general notes about my taste in fic:

Likes: Gen, whether plot-based or just slice-of-life; I'm down with anything from low-key character-development pieces to insane adventure craziness, although I would prefer at least some degree of substantive plot and development. I also really like stories that develop settings -- tastes of everyday life in fantastic worlds, imaginary histories, that sort of thing. I enjoy fic set all along the time spectrum, from pre-canon events to fill-in-the-holes to post-canon; that said, I'd appreciate if stories set within the canon have something more to add to the story than just a fresh POV of your own words. I enjoy happy endings, where characters find contentment and safety (or make good progress in finding it), and in general notes of hope and optimism are always appreciated.

For non-gen stories, I tend to prefer non-dysfunctional relationship dynamics: relationships where the characters in question authentically like each other and can both grow as people because of their connection. Similarly, I prefer sex scenes to be cheerful, obviously consenting (no dubcon/noncon or seriously impaired characters), and mutually satisfying. I don't really have any kinks, so vanilla sex is fine, but the introduction of some mild kink is fine too -- light BDSM (simple bondage, blindfolds, lighthearted wrestling, that kinda thing) or genderplay, say, if it fits the scenario and characters. Het, slash, femslash, and any and all permutations thereof are fine with me.

Dislikes: PWP/excessively mechanical porn; I prefer that porn be used as a tool to develop the characters involved and their relationship with one another, and therefore "$character did $sexact to $othercharacter all night long hooo baby" exercises don't do much for me. For similar reasons, I don't like crack pairings, and in general I'm not fond of crack or excessive AU-ing. "What if?"s based on canon or branching off from canon are great, but I'm not into coffee-shop/high-school/"not in their canon at all" AUs. I also don't like character-bashing exercises or excessively downbeat endings.

Squicks: This is probably redundant given my Likes section, but just in case: I really don't want to read about non-consensual or questionably-consensual sex, either for fetish or for drama/tragedy. Humiliation and abuse squicks me the fuck out, in sexual contexts or not in it; in general, I don't like "comedy of cruelty" sorts of material where the goal is to watch repulsive characters treat each other poorly. It's okay to have characters struggle and fail, but if they're not at least a little sympathetic and they don't have at least the possibility of a moment of grace, it's probably more irritating to me than interesting. I would also prefer no heavy kink beyond what I've already mentioned as okay.

Now, onto the requests:

Dangan Ronpa - Yamada Hifumi

A small note: I haven't seen much of SDR2, so I would prefer that this story just involve plot elements from the original DR, thanks.

I find Hifumi Yamada to be an underappreciated character, and I'd really like to read a story that treats him in a sympathetic light. My view of him is that he was socially isolated, lonely, and particularly vulnerable to emotional manipulation, which Celes seized on to cause the events of Chapter 3; while tempers were running high throughout that chapter, I lean towards the belief that things wouldn't have erupted into murder without Celes's machinations, so I view Yamada as a figure more worthy of pity than of scorn. This can obviously get pretty dark, although I'd prefer that the humiliation and degradation aspects of his "relationship" with Celes not get described in detail, since that sort of thing is a squick for me.

I'd like to see fic that either treats him as a tragic figure or doesn't focus on the events of Chapter 3 at all, whether that means an AU set during the canon timeline or something set pre-canon. Fic set during their pre-disaster year at Hope's Peak could be interesting, especially since the in-game evidence suggests that Yamada had healthy social relationships with his peers; it'd be nice to see that, and contrasting it with his absolute desperation for companionship post-mindwipe could be very moving.

If you're freaking out right now because you offered "any" and don't want to write Yamada fic omigod, fear not! I'd enjoy fic featuring most of the DR cast; I'd rather not read Celes fic, and I'm probably least interested in Naegi and Kirigiri out of the remainder, but otherwise, go nuts. The thing I love about DR is how flavorful the characters are while still being realistic, and I'd love to read fic that digs into their lives and psyches in greater depth. (Just to pull from the first things that come to mind: how does Fukawa manage to hold it together in daily life without revealing the presence of Genocider Syo? Hagakure may be a flake, but being able to accurately predict the future 20% of the time is still pretty amazing; is that kind of power a burden to him, and what does he do with it besides making money?) Probably the only things I'm not interested in reading are excessively generic slice-of-life and PWP/shipping-without-plot; the cast of DR is delightfully weird and complex, and I'd like to see that come through in your fic.


Okay, so first things first: please, no spoilers for anything beyond the original game! I don't own a PS Vita, so my DR experience has been through the lens of Orenronen's translated Let's Play on Something Awful, which didn't quite get through the first half of SDR2. I don't think that'll be an issue given my character request, but I'd still appreciate not being spoiled on SDR2 or any other canon material.

Onto the actual character I requested... the elephant in the room with Yamada, unfortunately, is the question of his sexuality and his doujin output. I believe the interpretations of him as a potential sexual predator are pretty strained, but I can see how people might be squicked by the implication that at least some of his doujin output is underage stuff; if you address his work in the story, I'd prefer that it be more benign than that, especially since underage sex is a squick for me. That said, if you want to write about Yamada as a creator (and a creator of fanwork, no less), go nuts. As for his own sexual preferences, I'd prefer they be pretty benign as well -- some of his dialogue suggests he has kinky tastes, and the conversation about Alter Ego's gender suggests he may not be 100% straight, so he could really be anywhere on the sexuality spectrum as far as I'm concerned. (Er, not that you need to write smut about him, or even address the topic... I'm just rambling at this point.) As mentioned in the prompt, I would also prefer that the humiliation aspects of Yamada's "relationship" with Celes not be described in detail.

Here are a couple of specific plot ideas I've had in the past, not listed in the official request because they're way too specific and both kind of guilty-pleasure-y:

* See the bit above about "not 100% straight?" Yeah, take that to its logical conclusion -- Yamada's gay, or bi but strongly male-leaning. He's aware of his own preferences, but he's awkward enough about it that he's constructed his entire persona to hide it, because perversely he's found more acceptance as a polymorphously-perverse ultranerd than he feels he would have as a vanilla gay nerd. His interest in Celes is elaborately-dressed-up platonic affection, or maybe she's the one girl he's ever been attracted to and he's desperately clinging to the possibility of a heterosexual partnership. Basically, the boy's made his life a whole lot harder than it had to be and trapped himself in his own shame.

* Yamada ends up befriending Genocider Syo, and somehow this works out for both of them! After all, he's not attractive enough that Syo considers him a potential target, and she's enough of a fujoshi that they have a lot in common. (Also, even the concept makes Fukawa angry, and Syo enjoys that, too.) Either Yamada knows his new fangirl buddy is a serial-murdering split personality and doesn't care (if it's set after the Syo reveal in Chapter 2) or he has no idea what's going on and assumes Fukawa just runs hot and cold towards him (if it's set before the game). Maybe hijinks ensue, or maybe Yamada and Syo just hang out and swap doujin, who knows?

Availability: Dangan Ronpa is available in English on the PS Vita, and while I don't have personal experience with it, I hear it's a good translation! If you just want a refresher without having to replay chapters, though, orenronen's English-language Let's Play is available on the LP Archive. There are no doubt other translations out there, although I don't know which of them are any good.

11人いる! | Juuichinin Iru! | They Were Eleven - any

They Were Eleven sketches out an amazingly diverse universe, and I'd love some worldbuilding fic about it! The few sketches of planetary life we get from the cast could easily launch whole fics on their own, and a big chunk of the intriguing ensemble cast never gets their time in the spotlight, so I'd love to hear their stories. There's character backstory, the broader backstory of the Terran colonies and their interactions with alien races (what's up with the guys whose religion keeps them from basic communication, anyway?), post-canon fic about the University lives of our cast... there's just a ton of material to work with, and you should feel free to let your imagination run wild. Feel free to use any of our titular Eleven -- TWE has a great ensemble cast, and I'd be happy to learn more about any of them.

That said, I recognize that Frol and Tada were the only two characters nominated, so don't fret if you hoped to write fic about them -- that's great too! I think the end of the story leaves them both with directions for further exploration. In Tada's case, there's still a lot he needs to understand about his past: why the Elder sealed it away, for one thing, and what exactly he was trying to accomplish with the traumatic reveal. What's really going on there? When it comes to Frol, I'd love to see a more nuanced consideration of gender-identity issues. The only part of the manga that left a bad taste in my mouth was the implication that Frol would become a woman just to be with Tada, and I'd like to see Frol have the chance to make a more nuanced decision about gender, especially in the more egalitarian society of the University. I'm fine with Frol choosing either gender (or choosing to develop naturally), but I'd like to see it as a free decision not made under pressure from external factors. I'm cool with Frol/Tada, whether that turns out to be het, slash (Frol goes male but Tada still has feelings for him/decides to try and make it work?), or something in between.


I did my best not to go nuts on requesting un-nominated characters, since I know those sorts of requests are the bane of those who go to Yuletide to actually write the nominated characters, but holy crap, I would read fic about any of the characters who appear in TWE, along with some who don't. (There were sixty-nine other examination teams, after all, and they all had their own disasters to contend with. If you wanted to write about an examination team of OCs having everything go wrong, I'd love to read it!) I'd be happy to know more about the applicant homeworlds we saw glimpses of in the manga, the worlds we didn't see, the University... I know I already gushed about the potential for worldbuilding in the request, but there's just so many possibilities.

That said, if you signed up to write Tada and Frol, there are a ton of possibilities there too! I mentioned in the request that I'd love to see a more nuanced look at Frol's development of mature gender identity, both for its own sake and as a fix-it for the kind of unpleasant "Frol offers to become female to please Tada" bit from the ending, but in general seeing Frol interact with broader galactic society and grow as a person because of it would be great. Tada has some growing to do, too -- like I mentioned, it strikes me that he still has a lot to understand about his past (and some pointed questions to ask the Elder), and I imagine the entrance exam isn't the last time he's going to struggle with his intuition at University. Overall, I think Frol and Tada have a lot of potential to help each other and see their relationship develop, whatever gender Frol ends up being.

Alternately, if this is all sounding too issuefic-y for you, there's always space adventure. I will devour a space adventure about Frol, Tada, and/or their exam-mates, whether it's a plotty epic about a crisis on a colony planet or a meditation on how sometimes space piloting can be sort of boring.

Availability: They Were Eleven is a short manga story available to read online on MangaWall. It's worth your time!

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! - Steve Jackson - any

I'd really like gen in this fandom, please! These books captivated me when I was a kid, and what I'd most love to read would be some worldbuilding and elaboration about parts of the setting and story that the main adventure didn't get to or didn't cover in depth. There are so many tantalizing details there, from the full Kakhabad map to the minor characters to the incidental cultural/historical references. If there was some part of the canon that got you curious or sparks a story in you, tell me that story! I want to know more about Red-Eyes and Sightmasters and Mantis Men, about the virtue- and vice-based gods of Khare, about the Archmage's dreadful experiments and the brave Samaritans who plot against him in the heart of Mampang. (Or about Naggamanteh, everyone's favorite house-proud ogre torturer, and his wife. I would legit read Naggamanteh curtainfic.)

If you want to write about individual characters, that's cool too! I'd prefer pre-canon/post-canon/other fill-in-the-gaps fic for most of them, since we don't see most of the cast very long. A few quick thoughts: what kinds of problems did the Archmage run into even before the Analander showed up? Was breaking away from her people really just about her father's death for Fenestra, and how did she manage it, anyway? With the Serpents and the Archmage gone, what are her plans? How does Flanker manage to stay cheerful and quasi-honorable as a professional killer in the Verminpit at Earthend? Why did the Adventurer volunteer to retrieve the Crown, and how were they chosen for the job? (Are they even the first, or have other hopeful saviors of the Femphrey Alliance disappeared into Kakhabad?) I'm cool with the Adventurer being developed however you see fit, in as much or as little detail as you see fit. Like I said before, I'm not huge on pairings or porn for this fandom, but if you feel like a little romance adds to things, feel free; I'd just rather romance and sex not be the sole focus of a story.


Okay, so the prompt was gushy, but the Sorcery! books were a huge part of my childhood, and I'm seriously delighted to see them offered for Yuletide. I didn't so much play them as read them, digest them, and use them as grist for my own imagination, which is a big reason I'd like to see worldbuilding for them -- there are so many unanswered questions and unexplored corners, and they've all got so much potential. Very little is too small for me to be interested in reading about it!

I didn't request any characters because I'm not wedded to any of these characters in particular, but I will say that The Seven Serpents is the book I have the least experience with and thus the least fannish glee over, so material from that book is probably the least compelling to me -- but I'm also planning a full play-through before Yuletide, so if you came into this to write Fenestra, don't be discouraged! I don't have a lot of investment in her now, but by Yuletide I'll probably be in love, because Sorcery! has never let me down.

Yes, I am a huge goddamn dork for these books. I'm sorry.

Availability: The Sorcery! books are out of print, but they've been scanned and uploaded onto Archive.org: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, and the Spellbook. Even if you're not writing this fandom, you should take a look -- the illustrations alone are great. (I didn't mention them before, but you can't really ask for a fanfiction writer to recreate illustrations, you know?)

Date: 2014-10-21 05:10 am (UTC)
flamebyrd: (Default)
From: [personal profile] flamebyrd
This is probably a little weird, but I'm the person who nominated They Were Eleven and I'm delighted to see someone else requesting it. :D (I only nommed the two characters because I literally could not decide between the rest, so I just decided to go with the two I knew I wanted.) There is so much space (pardon the pun) for worldbuilding in it and I really loved reading your letter here.

I'm also relieved to see we have the same issue with the end. (High five?)

Now to go see if I can wrangle my own requests into something coherent...

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Wasuremono

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