Hello Yuletide writer!
Thank you for offering one of my obscure fandoms! Don't pay attention to the ranking or length of these descriptions. All of these stories are dear to me and I would love a story for any of them.
So I love fic because it lets me spend more time with the characters I love. Or it lets me consider a canon in a new light. To that effect, I don't much mind what sort of tone you take with this. It can be hopeful and uplifting or dark and depressing or somewhere in between. Mostly I just want you to write something you're excited about, no matter where the muse takes you. I won't be put off by happy or sad things. I am equally into pairing fic and gen fic. I tend to prefer some amount of dialogue/character interaction (for whatever reason I get distracted by stories that only involve introspection). I like canon divergent AUs (ie; what would canon look like if one detail was changed?). I wouldn't like "entirely different setting" AUs for any of these particular canons, however.
I do have some hard and fast Do Not Wants, though: torture porn (violence is fine, just don't make it the focus of the fic), anything involving shit or piss, characters hating characters that they like in canon, BDSM fic where it's a lifestyle and/or BDSM with highly involved discussions about kink negotiation (characters being dominant/submissive is fine), and A/B/O.
And now for the individual fandoms. Apologies in advance for how often I use the word "love."
The Red Tent
Characters: Bilhah, Reuben
I can't even tell you how many times I read this book as a teen. Reread it again this year and it still held up for. Love its focus on women, and all the different roles they can play. Also love all the descriptions of daily routines, cooking, religious rituals, and medical work. It's such an evocativetread than when shit hits the fan (especially after Shechem) it ends up being such an emotional experience for me.
Every time I reread I hope things will turn out better for Bilhah and Reuben, but they never do. I love both of their characterizations and really wanted them (Bilhah, especially) to be happy. They both seemed like such loving, gentle people that somehow it makes sense to me that they'd be drawn to each other even though it's a really bad idea! That being said, given the canon source, I'm not looking for a particularly optimistic fic, here (though if you want to write something happy, then go for it.) But I would love something that puts the focus on them and fills in some of the gaps of their story.
Some hypothetical prompts:
- Something dealing with all the awkward years of UST between them. Did they ever talk about and go "no this can't happen?" Or did they avoid mentioning it at all until they couldn't stand it anymore?
- How did they react to the loss of Dinah? It was almost certainly devastating for the both of them. I could easily see them letting down their guard after that, and sleeping together as h/c kind of thing.
- I'd also be interested in an AU where Bilhah never married Jacob. Would she have gotten to marry Reuben then? If so, what kind of life would they have led?
- If you're reading this and realizing incest isn't your thing, I'd definitely be open to fic that focuses on Bilhah in particular. She seems to have a great memory for mythological tales and family history and I wonder how that came to be. I wonder about her relationships with her sisters, too. I would love to read about how she was as a mother with Dan. More bonding moments with Dinah would be welcome too.
Tales of Dunk and Egg
Characters: Baelor Targaryen
I really adore this series! Not quite as dark as ASOIAF (despite having its fair share of death and war), but still full of moral ambiguity. I'm asking for fic that focuses on Baelor Targaryen because I adored him and I want to know more about him! The text idealizes him a bit. I'm not looking for fic that goes "nope, he was terrible!" but it would be cool to see speculation on what he's like as a person. How did he become so responsible and empathetic? What kind of flaws did he have?
Some hypothetical prompts:
- It would be great to read your take on his childhood/teenage years/young adulthood! Baelor and his sibs are the son of a Targaryen queen and a Dornish princess, right? This was a politically arranged marriage that put a stop to warring between Westeros and the then independent Dorne. It sounds like a happy marriage though it was not without controversy; people resented the Dornish influence on court and this is one of many factors that led to the Blackfyre rebellion. Baelor must have grown up during interesting, but uncertain times, and it eventually culminated in him having to lead forces during the aforementioned war. What was that like? Also is he closer to one parent than the other? Did they raise him to be a good ruler or did he just kind of have this ability innately? Did he ever visit Dorne, and does he feel a connection to it at all?
- The Hedge Knight amused me because Baelor often seems thrust into the role of peacekeeper in his family. He always seems to be mediating conflict. But he's not completely neutral; he does fight for Dunk during the trial, after all. How does he feel about having to keep his huge family in line? Does he just see it as his duty? How often does he really really need a drink? Is he disappointed that his oldest son kind of gets treated with kids gloves? I love his complex relationship with Maekar. He's not a nominated character so don't feel like you have to include him, but if you want to that would be cool! I'm also curious about his interactions with Egg. Does he have any influence on the kid?
-And, of course, you could always write a "Baelor liiiives!" AU.
Characters: Saitou Hajime, Heisuke Toudou
So there's a quote from the game director (which, sadly, I can't track down right now) that said Saitou and Heisuke are actually pretty close. This all comes down to being similar ages, and spending all that time with Itou's group. Every so often they have some really endearing interactions in the game/anime/movie. I think both of them had interesting character arcs. Loved Saitou learning to value himself as a person, and I love how Heisuke is such an aware, astute person. I'd love to see your take on their relationship. I'm cool with this being either gen or shipping fic! For the latter, it would be fun to see hurt/comfort (when they're off with Itou and feeling conflicted/lonely) or goofy, drunken teenage experimenting. But yeah, just stressing that it can be gen or shippy!
Some hypothetical prompts:
- Anything about them during that time when they're off with Itou's group! I imagine it must have been hellishly lonely for the both of them (for different reasons) and they probably tried to stick close together. And how did Heisuke feel when he returned to the Shinsengumi and figured out that Saitou had been a double agent all along? I can't see them fighting about it, exactly, but I feel like there might have been an intense conversation.
- I also love this series goofy side stories (hello, Shinsengumi planning a super srs mission to... rescue a cat) so if you want to write about them having fun times in the early days you should totally go for it! Judging by Heisuke's behavior towards Chizuru and Ibuki he's welcoming of newcomers, so it would be funny to see him during that initial awkward bonding phase with Saitou. I'm also all for reading about Heisuke bringing Saito along on a drinking adventure with Sano and Shinpachi and everyone assumes Saitou's going to be a stick in the mud but, nope, he can drink them all under the table and seem completely calm about it.
(Sidenote: Chizuru is my favorite character in this series, and I love her friendship with both of these guys. I know she's a controversial character and I'm not asking you to include her or mention her at all, but if she does come up in the story please be neutral/nice about her.)
Till We Have Faces
Okay, this is another story I imprinted on as a teen. I really love retellings of old, old stories. With this one, I feel like I learn something new about myself every time I reread it. It has a lot to offer when it comes to questions about possessiveness, mercy, justice, memory perception etc. But every time I read it, I also end up wanting to know more about Redival! There's a fairly haunting, short passage towards the end where Orual reflects that she might have neglected Redival after Istra was born. Her former lover describes her as painfully lonely. The book follows Orual's really intense journey to self-awareness, and also shows Psyche's journey to a lesser extent. Redival, though, leaves the story early on and never makes much of an impact. But she's interesting to me. She also had a tough life; abusive dad, very neglected, witness to tons of death at a young age, Orual has her wet nurse executed etc. And she must have done some self-reflection after the loss of Istra. I don't know what she would have concluded, but... I just keep coming to that passage that complicates everything the narrative had to say about Redival. I would love to hear your thoughts on her, yuletide writer.
Some hypothetical prompts:
- So, DID she feel bad after betraying Psyche? Orual calls bullshit on that, but I wonder. I don't need (or want!) her to be an innocent little lamb, but it would be really interesting to know what she and Psyche were like outside of Orual. Did Redival hate and love her younger sister all at once? Did Psyche try to comfort her sister after Redival's lover was maimed and sent away? Were their ever moments of peace between them? Did she ever try to draw Psyche into acting out/rebelling along with her?
- And what was her life like after leaving Glome? Was her marriage a happy one? Did she ever find love and acceptance? Did she grow as a person or did she stay the same/regress? Did she have any epiphanies of her own? Did she like being a mother?
That's about it. I hope these prompts inspire you, and I really look forward to seeing your fic! If you want to poke around my tumblr, I'm currently over here, but my username will change to dr-erland after halloween is over.
And seriously, have fun! I'm excited to see what you write!