wasuremono: Ness, Jeff, and Poo from Earthbound, riding in a car and bobbing their heads. (o/` What is PK Love? baby don't hurt me)
[personal profile] wasuremono
Dear Yuletide Writer

Thank you! Thank you for participating in Yuletide, thank you for writing for me (or considering writing for me, if you found this via the community post and got curious), and thank you for reading this letter. Before we get started, there are three major points I'd like you to keep in mind.

1. None of the fandoms on my list is a gimme/consolation-prize fandom. All of the canons I've requested are things I really like and would be overjoyed to have Yuletide fiction for, so whichever one you matched me on, don't worry that it's not what I really want! The length of my chunkity-ass effort requests varies a bit by fandom, but that's not a reflection of my degree of desire for them. I'll drop links to those that are available online, for those who are curious or browsing DYW letters, but please don't feel obliged to learn a new canon just to write for me. Whatever canon you offered will be wonderful!

In the event of a Yuletide canon-acquisition emergency -- you just decided you can't possibly write what we got matched on, say, or something went seriously wrong and you're a last-minute pinch hitter -- They Were Eleven is probably the quickest and easiest to pick up, since it's short and available for free online. Good luck and godspeed.

2. I generally consider character tags as suggestions, not ironclad. I tend to use character tags to indicate whom I'm particularly interested in, not as something I demand, and unless you deliberately write fic to troll me (which you're not going to do, because you're a Yuletide writer and therefore rad), I'm not going to report you to the mods for not obeying my character tags. Please do keep them in mind, though!

3. Above all else, I want you to write something you want to write. One of the great joys in Yuletide is writing in a rare fandom, and I want you to really enjoy the act of writing for me. To that end, please remember that all my optional details are optional! I've written some pretty huge effort paragraphs for requests this year, and I'd like you to read them and keep them in mind, but at the end of the day, what I really want from my Yuletide story is something crafted with joy and love for our shared rare fandom. If that means writing completely off my prompt, I don't mind at all.

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 ideally both kinds of stories would have some substance. Substance is awesome. 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, 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 enjoy enthusiastic consent and cheerful, mutually enjoyable sex. I don't really have any kinks, so vanilla sex is fine, but the introduction of some mild kink is fine too -- light BDSM 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 are great, but "what if they were all in high school/in a band/in a weyr on Pern/generally not actually in their canon" AUs just don't work for me.) I also don't like character-bashing exercises or excessively downbeat endings.

Squicks: Bestiality, alpha/beta/omega, incest, rape (both in the fetishy and serious-plot-development sense), humiliation, hatesex (snark between people who like each other is all good, but actual hatred is not), porn involving excessive or non-sexual bodily byproducts (a bit of spit here and there is fine, but please no bloodplay, watersports, scat, truly ludicrous amounts of sexual fluids, etc.), underage sex (below about 15-16 or so), pairings involving heavy power inequality or abuse of privilege (teacher/student and what have you), heavy BDSM (I don't have a parenthetical for this, but, y'know)... yeah, if it wasn't obvious, I tend to prefer my porn on the cheerful side.

One final warning -- for some reason, my running joke when discussing Yuletide this year has been that all of my requests would turn out to be "X FIGHTS CRIME IN SPACE!" This did not happen, but apologies in advance for terrible jokes about it.

Now, onto the requests:

Dangan Ronpa - Yamada Hifumi

NOTE: No SDR2 / DR0 spoilers, please! I follow DR stuff through orenronen's translations on Something Awful, so while I've completed the DR LP, I haven't finished SRD2 or DR0 and don't expect the SDR2 LP to be finished by Yuletide. Please don't use spoilers from anything DR-related that isn't the original game!

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.

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? What does Togami actually want to do with his life besides move corpses and be a jerk?) 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 please please PLEASE, no spoilers for anything beyond the original game! Like the request says, my DR experience is through the SA LPs, so (unless Oren starts translating crazy fast) I won't have finished SDR2 or DR0 by Yuletide. I realize requesting DR is a risk given this, since I dunno, maybe SDR2 reveals that Yamada was the mastermind all along or something; if you have to decide between being strictly request-compliant and avoiding spoilers, definitely go towards spoiler avoidance. If some big spoiler means you can't write Yamada at all, I'm totally okay with you writing someone else.

The request was already a big ol' effort-essay, so I'm not sure what to add to it. I will note that I don't follow DR fandom outside of the SA thread, so my perspective on the general perception of Yamada is probably skewed by that; somehow I doubt he's doing a ton better out in Tumblr-land, though, so my point about wanting to see him as a sympathetic character stands.

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.)

Here are a couple of specific plotbunnies 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 ain't right, and he's made his life a whole lot harder than it had to be.

* 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?

... and if all this is unappealing to you, you could always write me a story about Hagakure fighting crime in space...

Availability: DR is getting an English-language release, but it isn't out yet, unfortunately. Fortunately, though, orenronen's English-language Let's Play is available on the LP Archive, and I believe other translations are wandering around if you prefer those.

Watership Down - Richard Adams

I'd prefer gen only in this fandom, please, or relatively chaste romantic material if you want to include it. (I kind of doubt anyone is burning to write hot rabbit smut for Yuletide, but, uh, if you were, I'm sorry? Shine on, you crazy diamond.)

Anyway, as for the actual request: I'd really love to read some WD worldbuilding fic, particularly fics delving deeper into animal psychology and civilization. One of the things I like best about the book is that the sapient animals are still distinctly inhuman in their thoughts, feelings, and societies, and that different species of animals are so cognitively distinct from one another that even basic communication can be difficult at times. Fic that builds on that concept would be wonderful. Here are some ideas that come to mind:

* I ended up not requesting Kehaar because he's not crucial to my Yuletide experience or anything, but fic from Kehaar's perspective would be pretty cool. The book suggests that he's very psychologically distinct from the rabbits (his references to concepts they can't understand), so I'd be interested to read more about his inner life, either during his time with the rabbits or his other travels. What is gull society like, anyway?

* The segment of the book dealing with Cowslip's warren is harrowing and heartbreaking, and I'd love to hear more about them. What is daily life like for a rabbit when hunger is a non-issue but the snare is always out there? Do their artistic traditions help soothe their minds? Other variant rabbit cultures are welcome, too -- rabbit communities seem to be shaped by their needs, so I imagine there are a lot of possibilities there.

* The existence of a cross-species pidgin language suggests there's more frequent contact between species than we see in the book proper. How does that work? Is it an emergency measure, or is there meaningful cross-cultural contact?

(It occurs to me that some or all of these prompts might be addressed in Tales from Watership Down, which I own but have not read. I apologize if I'm duplicating anything from the canon, but feel free to try your own interpretations!)

I'm not really sure whether this prompt is self-explanatory or way too confusing and weird for me to possibly explain, so I'll mostly just leave it where it is. There's just a ton of beautiful worldbuilding work about the psychology, society, art, and general inner lives of animals in WD, and I'll be delighted with anything you choose to work with in this regard. Don't feel obliged to emulate Richard Adams's style if it doesn't work for you, although I won't turn down style emulations if you feel up to it.

I realized I haven't really addressed specific characters here, aside from Kehaar, but there aren't any characters from WD whom I wouldn't be pleased to read about, so do what you feel. OCs are fine, too! Really, the only thing I won't be comfortable with is animal smut, which I sincerely hope isn't a problem.

Availability: There are probably PDFs floating around out there, but it's not at all a rare book, so track it down in a library or used bookstore. Believe me, you won't regret dropping a couple of bucks on a paperback edition.

Mother 3 - Duster, Kumatora

I've asked for these two for several Yuletides running, and I'm not gonna lie: Duster/Kumatora is kind of the M3 pairing of my heart, and I'd love to see a fic about their relationship. (If you don't ship them, a friendship fic would also be great!) While they were raised in different storybook "roles," their upbringings have a lot in common, and I think they develop a real mutual respect despite their disparate personalities. Whether you choose to read their interactions as platonic or not, I think they have a lot to offer each other.

(A small note: I know the fandom is somewhat divided on the question of Duster's age. I lean towards the assumption that he's in his early twenties at the beginning of the game, while Kumatora is in her late teens, so there isn't that much of an age gap, especially after the three-year timeskip. I'd rather not read them having a huge age difference, especially since I view them as a relationship of equals.)

If fic about both of them isn't your thing, I'd be happy with a fic about either one of them, maybe addressing backstory or set in the post-game. What does it mean to have been raised as a "princess" in an empty castle, or a "thief" in a town that barely recognizes the concept of private property, and what happens when the fractured-storybook world you were raised to play a part in ends? There's a ton to explore with these characters, and I'd love to read it. That said, if neither of them moves you, M3 is a real fandom of my heart, and any story you want to tell I'll probably want to read. The only thing I'm not interested in is Lucas- or Claus-centric fic, just because it already makes up the bulk of the fandom, but there are so many other characters and sidestories to choose from. I love the Magypsies, for example, and Fassad, and Alec and Wess... I could go on, but you get the picture. Write M3 and I'll love it.

This is another effort-lump that feels largely self-explanatory, and I'd mostly like to reiterate that there's very little I don't want to read in this fandom: incest, underage sex, and character-bashing fics are my big dealbreakers. Like I said, I'd prefer not to read Lucas or Claus fic, but that really is just because they already get so much of it; if writing a story about them would make your holiday, feel free! Heck, I wrote a Claus story a couple of Yuletides ago and enjoyed it. M3 is one of those fandoms where there's so many questions and details to explore, and such joy to be had in exploration, that I really want an assigned writer to just play. If you'd like some more concrete prompts, here are a few:

* What was life like for Duster and Kumatora working at Club Titiboo? Were there ever cracks in Duster's amnesia, something that suggested things weren't quite right, and did Kumatora do anything while undercover to help bring his memory back? And how did he learn to play the bass, anyway?

* The Magypsies are easy to write off as comic relief on the surface, but there's something darker and stranger there -- after all, they're all tens of thousands of years old and decidedly not human. How long has there been a rift between Locria/Fassad and the others, and what pushed Locria into wanting to have the needles pulled? How did their interactions go with the old Osohe civilization, and what made that civilization fall? Is there any connection between their shell-houses and the shell-houses of Magicant in the original Mother? (Incidentally, I've played all three Mother games, so feel free to integrate elements of all of them into your fic if you like.)

* I've always found there to be something kind of sad about Wess, and I tend to believe he never really meant to be the borderline-abusive father he is. What kinds of regrets does he feel about it during the three years Duster is missing? Also, how does the whole "thief" thing work anyway? Serving as the guardian of the Hummingbird Egg is kind of a big deal in the real story of Tazmily; does he know more about the situation than he lets on, or is he as much in the dark as the other villagers?

* Finally, if smut is your thing, it occurs to me that you could write amazing crossdressing/genderfuck/gender-play fic about Duster and Kumatora. Being raised by Magypsies and all, Kumatora probably has a healthy appreciation for pretty boys, and Duster's the sort of person who could be up for anything. In general, I imagine Kumatora's the more sexually assertive partner and they both like it that way.

Availability: Mother 3 was never officially released in English, but there's a well-regarded English translation patch that can be applied to a ROM of the game, acquired from wherever you damn kids get ROMs these days. It's probably easier just to find a Let's Play of the game, and conveniently, there's one on the LP Archive. (I haven't read it and can't vouch for its quality, but I can't imagine it destroys the game or anything.)

Juuichinin Iru | They Were Eleven

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). 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.

It also occurs to me that, if those two and/or their new comrades end up in the space pilot corps, there's the potential for awesome space adventure, too. Hell, you could very well write me a story where Frol and Tada fight crime in space! yessssss

Availability: They Were Eleven is available to read online at MangaFox. It's short and worth it!

Top Ten (comic) - Irma Geddon, Joe Pi

Irma and Joe are my favorite mismatched-buddy-cop duo ever, and I'd be very happy to see them in a new adventure close to the tone of the canon. Casefic is great, whether it's a challenging/unusual case or more "routine" police work; no police work in Neopolis is really routine, after all, so feel free to go nuts. I've made some jokes about this being the Yuletide where I just write "THEY FIGHT CRIME IN SPACE" for all my requests, but this is the fandom where I'm actually doing it. Irma and Joe can fight crime! In space! Go nuts!

If casefic isn't your bag, I could also go for some slice-of-(weird)-life. What was Joe's life like before his transfer, and how is he adjusting to it? Does being married to a precognitive ever give Irma problems besides Ron's unemployment, and what is it like for the Wornows parenting metahuman kids? I'm a big fan of slice-of-life fic combined with high weirdness, and Top Ten is a fandom that allows for that in spades.

Seriously, man. Space crime!

Er, seriously seriously, I should probably admit something mildly embarrassing here: while I own all of Top Ten, I've only read the original two volumes of the comic. I may get around to Beyond the Farthest Precinct and the side-stories before Yuletide, but right now I'm in the same position I was with Watership Down: "crap, I hope I'm not suggesting something that was covered by canon I haven't read yet!" Oh, well.

Anyway, this is another request where I'd be happy to read about either of the characters separately, as well as the two of them together. Slice-of-life and casefic/adventure are both wonderful, and this strikes me as a canon where the two are going to end up one and the same anyway; Top Ten is not a canon where you can write about someone picking out curtains without a Crisis on Infinite Bed-and-Bath Stores breaking out. That said, if you write relatively "normal" stories about these guys' personal lives, that's okay too! Everyone needs a breather sometimes, even robots.

But trust me on the space crime.

Availability: Top Ten is not available online legally, to the best of my knowledge. I imagine the usual suspects for less-than-legal distribution have it, though.


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