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Yuletide Letter - Blueinkedfrost on AO3 - Into The Abyss Of Suburbia [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
...and the stains drip between fingers...

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Yuletide Letter - Blueinkedfrost on AO3 [Oct. 6th, 2016|07:49 pm]
...and the stains drip between fingers...
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Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you for writing for me! I hope you have a wonderful Yuletide. Our shared rare fandom is joy, optional details are optional, and please don't get eaten by bears.

Things I like to read include: adventure, humour, horror, slice-of-life, ghost stories, alternative universes, tragedy, suffering, irony, drama, mystery, complicated characters, complicated relationships, character development, underexplored parts of canon universes, plot twists, banter, capable/competent characters, female characters having adventures or being central to the story, femslash, gen, het, slash, rare characters in the spotlight, unusual stories, being surprised, and many other things that hopefully cover what you enjoy writing. I'd love to read a story you want to write.

If there're any questions about this letter, feel free to go through the Yuletide Mods, or simply write the story you want to write - I'd much rather read fic that went in a direction you liked writing than a story that stuck to a prompt that wasn't working for you.

I'll Be Away: I'm expecting to be without internet from about December 21 to January 3, but I hope to read and comment on Yuletide as soon as possible. Thank you again for writing for me, and sorry in advance for being away on the date.

Decameron - Boccaccio (book)
The Way To The Lantern - Audrey Erskine Lindop (book)
Baldur's Gate (video game)

Fandom: Decameron - Boccaccio (book)

When a group of wealthy young nobles flee the plague to party in the country, they tell each other Italian Renaissance folk stories, witty, bawdy, exciting, insightful, and hilarious by turns.

Characters: Any (Alatiel, Madam Zinevra, Abraham, Jehannot de Chevigny)
Source: I read the Project Gutenberg translation, Decameron I and Decameron II

I love the Decameron stories and the way they're a window into Renaissance Italy and people's concerns and lives. A story about nominated characters, non-nominated characters, or original characters would be great. Things I like about the nominated characters include: Madam Zinevra crossdresses, has adventures, and vindicates herself against injustice; Alatiel meets one irresistibly sexy pirate/warlord after another and eventually becomes Queen; and Abraham and Jehannot are merchants who are best friends despite religious differences. If another Decameron story suits your taste, I'd love a fic that draws from any of the stories - I like them all. I'd also love to read about original characters with a general inspiration from the source. I love historical details, folk tales, alternative universes, and re-imaginings in different settings.

Historical Anti-Semitism Warning: In Abraham and Jehannot's story, the story does well in that Abraham, a Jew, is a normal decent guy who's BFFs with Jehannot, a Christian. The story doesn't do well in that Abraham converting to Christianity is given as a happy ending. Melchisedech's story does well with its Jewish protagonist.
Historical Sexual Violence Warning: Alatiel's story contains sexual violence. I see it as more "bodice ripper" than "serious examination of the trauma of being enslaved by multiple bloodthirsty warlords", one of those stories set in fictional milieux where human psychology is entirely atypical. If this story interests you, I'd love to read your perspective, even (especially) if wildly different from mine.

Fandom: The Way To The Lantern - Audrey Erskine Lindop (book)

Philippe Roberts, a handsome actor and con artist caught up in the French Revolution, is in way over his head when he's pursued by a determined rich Englishwoman, a charismatic politically active French aristocrat, and an impossible creature without shoes whom he's trying to protect at all costs.

On the rare occasions when I have ever told the truth I have always failed to be convincing. Lack of practice, I expect.

Characters: Any (Lizzie Weldon, The Puce | Suzon Dupont, Marie-Clarice, Philippe Roberts)
Source: 1 book, still under copyright

I love the way the three main female characters in this novel (Lizzie Weldon, the Puce, and Marie-Clarice) are all so incredibly determined and clever and drive the plot by announcing what they want. Which is usually Roberts. (And in Marie-Clarice's case, wanting heaping amounts of political change as well.) I also love the way that Roberts, as the narrator, has such a limited perspective on what other people see in him. Roberts thinks of himself as rather stupid but rescues his friends from several tough situations by quick thinking and acting in the course of the novel; he doesn't see himself as brave or kind but some of his actions go against that; and from his inside he can't see the effect his outside has on various women. And I love the found/chosen family bond between Roberts and Manager Smith, both before and after they take in the Puce. Another aspect of this story I absolutely love is the historical aspects - I feel like Lindop's grounding in this specific place and time is fantastic. Here are some optional fic prompts: Lizzie Weldon somehow gets a happy ending; Marie-Clarice backstory; Roberts and the Puce interacting after she's grown up; adventures in America with Roberts and his family; the Puce developing an acting or other kind of career; interaction between Marie-Clarice/Lizzie Weldon/the Puce (in any combination of two or three); character introspection or missing scene from some point in the novel. In short, I'd love to read any fic in this fandom that you enjoy writing.

And here are some additional character-specific thoughts on the four nominated.

Lizzie Weldon - what I love about her is that she's independent and intelligent and determined and driven, and it's one of Roberts' good points that he is one of few characters to admire and value those traits in her. It also interests me that Roberts notices that Lizzie's father's attitude is a key factor in her lack of suitors, instead of blaming it all on her. I think it's telling that Lizzie really gets to him, that Roberts analyses her so deeply, and how strongly they react to each other, even though it seems Roberts doesn't love her romantically. Lizzie tries to uphold the principles of the society that she's in, at least outwardly, while inwardly she'll do anything to get her way. Lizzie's harsh, initially unsympathetic, and continues very unsympathetic to people in general and the Puce and Manager Smith in particular. But she ends up saving Roberts' life practically singlehandedly and it's clear she is kind to her cousin Edward. I also like Lizzie's relationship with Sir Gregory Hawtrey - it's a pity she never realised that he was a better man than his son Nick ever was.

The Puce - another independent and intelligent and determined character, only much less restrained by conventions. I think the novel succeeds in the difficult goal of starting with a young child, and growing her up into an adult woman by the end of it. Her wit, impulse, cleverness, and thiefly talents all combine to make her an extremely entertaining character. I love how the Puce is constantly in motion.

Marie-Clarice - she is an incredibly fun character; brilliant and active in about a thousand different projects and politics, sincerely cares about making the world a better place, sense of humour, sarcastic and dignified in the face of death. Marie-Clarice's attitude of constantly forgiving everyone everything, especially if she can believe they acted for political reasons, is very endearing. I love (hate, in a good way) the final tragedy Lindop gave Marie-Clarice, that at the very end she thought she died completely friendless.

Roberts - as the narrator, I love his sarcasm and the way he criticises himself, and the way his acting skills give him insights into people's characters. I like the way he puts on the mask of the Viscount de Lambriere, designed to be Lizzie's fantasy, while the reality is even more interesting. He's certainly an unscrupulous liar, thief, and leaver of debts unpaid - and he let himself be hanged this one time.

Fandom: Baldur's Gate (video game)

Fantasy adventure bildungsroman with a host of amazing companions.

Characters: Any (Aerie, Amelyssan, Aphril, Bodhi, Charname, Jaheira, Jon Irenicus, Montaron, Sarevok Anchev, Skie Silvershield, Valygar Corthala, Xzar)
Source: Gog.com, Beamdog, baldursgate.com

I love this fandom because of the adventure, the many different characters, and the huge scope for writing. I'd love to read about any characters you enjoy writing (nominated, non-nominated, your favourite party combination, the non-player characters in your favourite subquest, original characters). Adventure, humour, ghost stories, complicated characters, complicated relationships, genfic, creepy chills, alternative universe, torture and suffering, slice of life, backstories, or futurefic - any genre is fantastic.

Extended Edition Note: I haven't played much Baldur's Gate Extended Edition, but the new content sounds pretty cool! If you want to write any Extended Edition content, I'd love to read it with plenty of exposition.

Specific character prompts (nominated characters)

Aerie - I absolutely love Aerie's character arc, from a traumatised but well meaning young girl to a grown woman determined to help her friends fight evil. I love Aerie's saving-people complex and the way it also feeds into her dark side, when she is tempted to go too far while fighting slavers. I also love the way Aerie sees herself as an adopted gnome and studies ALL THE MAGIC SPELLS EVER.

Amelyssan - is not very fleshed out in the original material, but she's pretty powerful and comes pretty close to accomplishing her goal. I'd love to read an alternative take on her that finds her interesting side. What if Amelyssan told Charname most of the truth from the beginning ("I was a priestess of your father, lost my powers when he died, I need someone to sit on Bhaal's throne and I think you're a good candidate")? What was Amelyssan like in the Time of Troubles and the old times when she was powerful? Is Amelyssan Imoen's mother (they're both redheads)?

Aphril - a minor character in Spellhold with very interesting superpowers. What's her story? Is she just another mad mage, or could there be more to her?

Bodhi - she's got action-oriented, straightforward bloodthirsty villainy combined with an interesting backstory. What a fun character!

Charname - I'd love to read about your original characters in this setting.

Jaheira - I love Jaheira and her strength and toughness, and her amazing relationship with her husband Khalid. Jaheira's story is interesting and intriguing, from her past with Gorion and the Harpers to her future in Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal.

Jon Irenicus - he is a fascinating and creepy villain with plenty of awfulness and many layers.

Montaron and Xzar - I love Montaron's pragmatic bloodthirst and Xzar's mad, enthusiastic necromancy (and how he wants to hear a story about bears and gold). These two are great to see in fic! If you signed up to write only 1 of these characters, that's awesome too.

Sarevok Anchev - a very interesting, complex character who goes through a fantastic character arc and changes.

Skie Silvershield - Skie is one of my favourites. I love how she's spoilt but also a historian and dancer in her spare time, and I love her potential for some amazing character development.

Valygar Corthala - In a cast full of dramatic personalities, I love Valygar's low-key, sensible style. I love how he tries hard to be a decent person despite having so many excuses not to be, and I love how he's an atheist in a world lousy with gods.