aurilly: (marie antoinette bath)
[personal profile] aurilly
Thanks so much for signing up and writing for me! These letters always spiral out of control because I get so excited, and because I know some people like to see allllll the possible information. But it's not meant to be proscriptive! I'm neither wedded to these prompts nor looking to see a whole bunch of things I mentioned reflected in the fic. You can use just half a prompt (or question or theme), or twist it around, or ignore the prompts and incorporate a couple of the "Things I Love" into your own idea. As I hope is clear from this embarrassing word vomit, I adore these characters and am interested in a million different things. The fic I'll like best is the one you're having a blast writing. Thanks again!

Here are links so you can jump straight to the different sections: Atlantis, Psmith, Night at the Museum, Sense8.

Things I Love
Odd Couples & Good Friends: contrasting temperaments that work together; found families; having one another’s backs; enjoying one another's company; quietly self-sacrificial gestures; laughing at one another; partying or spending holidays together; falling in love
Banter: dry humour; erudition; fond exasperation; characters with wildly different speech patterns
Earning Your Happy Ending: getting over some of your baggage; finding home where you least expect it
Competence & Resourcefulness: high-functioning teams; badassery; well-executed plans; the pen is mightier than the sword; laughing in the face of danger or absurdity; bringing a rocket launcher to a knife fight
Adventures: exploring unknown territory; captured or stranded together; daring rescues or escapes; espionage; bondage in non-sexual situations
Journeys: trains; ships; hotels; European jet-setting; vacations gone awry; fish out of water
Canon Divergences: what happens next; 'what-if' stories; imagining how different paths and motivations might have led to the same point; continuing a previous status-quo; handwaving away inconvenient plot developments
Dorks Doing It: slightly awkward but fun and satisfying sex; laughter or friendly banter during sex; characters who are into it and not completely clueless, even if they're inexperienced
Alternate "I Love You"s: I'm not a fan of people saying "I love you" in fic, but I adore when characters demonstrate the sentiment through actions or other words, like how Psmith took the blame for Mike, or Jed's "I'll take that hand now" line

No, Thanks
• non-canon romantic pairings other than the ones specifically requested
• crack fic and alternate setting AUs
Sex & Relationship-Related: noncon/dubcon; underage; soulmates; Dom/sub dynamics; pregnancy and kids; love triangles and OT3s; endlessly unresolved UST; non-canonical nicknames and terms of endearment; marriage proposals and weddings
Things That Upset Me: embarrassment/humiliation; bleak endings; non-canonical main character death; the afterlife; 'it was all a dream'; mindwiping away the events of the story (basically, I need things to 'count' and be 'real')
Writing Things: 1st & 2nd person POV; large amounts of phonetically spelled dialogue (my brain honestly struggles to process it)

• I don't need a lot of set-up or explanations of how characters got here or why this weird thing is happening. Feel free to handwave past all that and start the story in medias res. Like, you can just start it with Jed and Octavius having just climbed into a painting, or Mike and Psmith standing over a body whose murder they will investigate. It's great if you want to write the background/logistics, too, but the part of the story I'm most interested in is the result of the premise: the adventures characters have, the things they learn, the relationship development that happens, etc.

• I'd love something that's ultimately heartwarming and/or fun, but seriousness, angst or melancholy along the way is totally welcome! I love people to talk and do new things. I'm less into missing scenes, entirely pre-canon backstories, pure fluff, rehashes of canon, plotless introspective character studies, and PWP.

• I love multiple kinds of friends-to-lovers stories. For example: 1) Where they realize they have more than platonic feelings, or have been lightly crushing for a while, and resolving that UST. 2) Start the story right after the first kiss/declaration, setting it during the days or weeks that follow. The relationship does change; it isn’t simply friends + sex. Working through that transition and learning new things about one another—both wonderful and irritating—that didn't come up before. 3) Casual, pre-established (or not) friends with benefits or 'sex before feelings' that becomes more serious as a result of events in the story.

• I like the requested characters to figure out and deal with stuff for themselves (ex. realizing their feelings are requited, taking a risk with a declaration or romantic gesture, overcoming some of their baggage, solving the case, etc.), without matchmakers, shovel talks, or friends giving them the answers.

Realm-Hopping & Crossovers (even more optional than the rest! feel free to skip!)
I have a weakness for stories about characters going to other worlds and having adventures. However, this sort of thing usually requires a crossover. I've mentioned the specific fandom combinations I'm interested in at the end of each section below; I'd still want the story to be focused on my requested Yuletide characters. If you're interested in this, I've got general likes and dislikes about crossovers, as well as a million prompts here. But please don't feel pressured to write this, or even to click on the link (this letter's long enough already, sheesh)!

Atlantis (UK TV)
Characters: Pythagoras, Icarus
Prompt: I’d love some tender, fumbling first times—I'm thinking beyond just sexual ones—as they transition from friends to lovers alongside some kind of plot. It could be slice of life on the Argo, a stop in a port to get supplies, a storm hits, a run-in with a myth the show never touched on… Anything! I love a sea quest—cramped cabins, hammocks, watching stars from the crow’s nest, deserted beaches... What about a stop on an island with a magical premise or adventure that results in a personal or relationship breakthrough (kind of like the stops in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, if you know that book)? What are each of their contributions to the quest? Does Icarus (perhaps unnecessarily) continue to try to make up for his betrayal? Is combining friends weird for Pythagoras? Is Icarus the one who figures out Jason's great secret? If you don't want to write quest fic, I'd be just as thrilled with a canon divergence that has them doing something else, or that imagines a different way they might have gotten together.

This ship filled my heart fuller than it's felt in years. Icarus and Pythagoras are both darling, their friendship was lovely (they make a great team!), and the storyline was wonderfully done. I love how earnest they both are and how their first instinct is to bottle up their pain, even as they wear their bleeding hearts on their sleeves. I love the contrasts between them, both physical and temperamental; playing with those would be lovely. I love Pythagoras’s quiet courage, detached braininess, awkward bluntness, and waspish sarcasm. I loved Icarus's dry banter and dynamic with his dad, where he was the responsible one, but could still be talked into shenanigans; he's very clever and resourceful in his own way, the practical everyman of the group.

While the more serious season 2 was 'better' in some ways, I did miss how jolly season 1 was, as well as seeing the main trio's sassy, dorky and playful sides. Something that blends both seasons' tones and characterizations would be amazing, if possible. I love the entire final Team Jason ensemble (plus Medusa, Korinna and Medea), so anyone is welcome in the background.

Or another angle... The Oracle said our world and the Atlantis world were simply two of many, which makes it sound less like time travel and more like another dimension whence stories happened to seep. Do Pythagoras (and Icarus, or anyone else you want, but for a crossover, only Pythagoras is required) get to go to another world entirely? Crossover characters blundering into Atlantis and working on something with our heroes? I'd be interested to see Pythagoras get to know characters from Narnia, Psmith, or Sense8. Or visit Lost's Island. For more crossover info, see here.

Psmith - PG Wodehouse
Characters: Rupert Psmith, Mike Jackson
Prompt: Psmith being his clever, eccentric, weirdly heroic self, with delightfully normal Mike in tow. I'd love a friends-to-lovers story that happens alongside some kind of plot. What about drawing room espionage, a Scooby Doo-style mystery, or stranded on a desert island? A Psmithian take on some aspect of college life? Study abroad while at Cambridge? A wild night out during their coworker/roommate days and its ramifications? Psmith in the soup and Mike has to save him, instead of the other way around? A briefly angsty rift that helps you dig into their friendship/lives before it gets happily resolved? What about a dash of magic, a sci-fi trope, or a crossover (see below for options)? Please set the story before they met their wives, and/or pretend they never did.

Psmith is my favorite character of all time, and they are my epically devoted odd couple par excellence. Every time Psmith throws himself on his sword for Mike makes me cry in a way that I don’t think Wodehouse books are supposed to make you cry. I love how Mike holds his own with Psmith, and how he rolls his eyes but quietly loves him just as much. He's a lovable and relatable protagonist in his own right, not just Psmith's everyman foil. I treasure the glimpses we get of his thoughts and fears and frustrations. There’s so much they feel but don’t say, even with Psmith’s incessant talking; in what other ways can those feelings come out? Do they know any of the Drones chappies? Does Psmith even have other friends? If so, what's he like with them vs Mike? If not...? Something that addresses how others view their dynamic could be a fun element to include.

I ship these two hard, but if you don't, gen adventures would be lovely, too. However if you do write a romance, who is the forward one here, or do they bumble equally in their own ways? I like the idea that romance with Mike is the one area where Psmith might be slightly shy or awkward or confusing or clueless or… something. Does he try to hide his nerves/inexperience? Or not? Maybe he actually is smooth, but that’s the wrong approach with Mike? Any take would be fascinating! While a little angst and longing are nice, I’d like something in the generally upbeat spirit of the books. If you could avoid un-Wodehousian anguish, angsty coming-outs, and discussion of social issues (without actually pretending those issues away), I'd really appreciate it. Any other Wodehouse characters you like are welcome to appear; however, Psmith/Mike is the only thing I ship, so no background pairings, please.

For some more out-there prompts... What about Psmith or Mike in a Groundhog Day loop? Or Marquez-style magical realism, where magic or folkloric elements are presented as ordinary in the otherwise canonical setting. Is the Wodehouse world like the Great Britain of Susanna Clarke, 100 years later? Do the boys blunder into Narnia or Atlantis for realm-hopping adventures? Or someone from those places blunders into England, and Psmith and Mike take them in? Stranded on Lost Island? For more crossover info, see here.

FYI, the first three books are free on Gutenberg and the Kindle store. 'Leave It to Psmith' isn't free, but it's widely available (though not necessary for this request; neither is Psmith, Journalist).

Night at the Museum (Movies)
Characters: Jedediah, Octavius
Prompt: I’d love a friends-to-lovers story that happens alongside some sort of adventure or slice of life exploration. Something where they’re both fish out of water and that brings out feelings? An adventure demonstrating how being small is actually awesome? A date in the Halls of Gems and Minerals? Raiding the gift shop for Christmas or Saturnalia presents? Dynamics with non-guard characters (I love Larry, but would rather see more of Jed and Octavius interacting with the NYC museum inhabitant(s) of your choice... or Rebecca!)? Getting out of the museum for fun on the Upper West Side? Adventures in Fairway? A night at the opera? I also love the thing where people jump into paintings.

I’m a sucker for forced proximity, cross-cultural odd couples, enemies-to-friends, and historical/genre mashups. Clearly, this is the ship (and franchise, really) of my most whimsically cracked-out dreams. I clap like a deranged seal at all the earnest dialogue and silly yet dramatically tense shenanigans. I love how resourceful all the museum inhabitants are, and how well they work together, even while perfectly retaining their cultural contrasts. Something exploring their transition from chaos/isolation/strangers/enemies to harmonious misfit found family could be fun.

But best of all are Jed and Octavius. I love the glimpses of a philosophical nature behind Jed's bluster, and the cracks in Octavius's stately formality. I love how they're simultaneously brave, intelligent, competent leaders, and also completely ridiculous little shits. I love how much fun they have together, even when things are dire. I love their can-do spirits, and how their size is no impediment to their ability to save the day. I love how much everyone else loves them, too.

(I got a little carried away looking at my favorite museums' websites, but please don't feel pressured to do this prompt.) A story about Jed and Octavius's relationship during an adventure inside a painting would be amazing. How does it work? Can they change history? Or is it a kind of parallel universe? Or another realm entirely? Do they become the same size as the people in the picture? Or not? Or ignore these questions and just focus on the guys' relationship and adventures. Some of my favorite paintings across the park that could be fun for these two include: Modern Rome, Ancient Rome (they're in the same gallery), Venus's Toilette, Death of Socrates, Descent Into Hell (please don't let them really be dead), or Versailles panorama (you need to look at the additional images to get this one). Or London. And anything could be on loan, anywhere! Seriously, any 'traditional' painting containing people and places would be wonderful. I like modern art, but am more interested in the idea of the paintings being real places/stories for Jed and Octavius to interact with, and where the people they meet think of themselves and their worlds as real.

Please set it before the last movie, or in a canon divergence that pretends its larger plot and themes away so the NYC people can continue to be awake every night (with Ahkmenrah there, too!). And please avoid talking about how they are made of wax/aren't real. I know it's part of the point, but meta themes like this depress me, in any canon (as do "the magic is going away, but that's okay" endings; it's not okay!). I'm not looking for a Pinocchio-style fix-it; I just don't want to talk about it. However, exploring tangential themes and worldbuilding elements is totally welcome, such as non-aging, or whether they ever need to shave, or a sense of ennui, or what it's like to know the outcomes of their own histories. I have a horror of the reptile and giant whale rooms, I'm not a fan of monkeys, and the Larry clone and Teddy bust are part of the theme I want to avoid. I love everything else, though! This was more about my childhood, existential/mortality fears, and 18th century obsession than you probably wanted to know, sorry.

Sense8 (TV)
Characters: Wolfgang Bogdanow, Lito Rodriguez
Prompt: I’m a sucker for stories about forced proximity, cross-cultural odd couples, and broken people overcoming their baggage through the Power of Friendship™. The whole show is this, but I’d love these themes focused on Wolfgang (with help from Lito), set post-S1 or in a canon divergence. Does Wolfgang go to Mexico and become Lito’s for-real bodyguard? Does the director cast him in the film (what even is the plot of that?!)? What do Hernando and Daniela think of Lito's new friend, and of the sensate thing in general? Or, if Wolfgang stays in Europe, what about Lito telepathically helping him to either to destroy BPO, or help Felix, or…? Wolfgang interacting with Hernando (or Lito interacting with Felix) the way Will and Amanita interacted? I love all the characters, so include whomever else you want, too. Or, for something completely different, what about Wolfgang on a cracked out adventure that’s played completely straight? Namely: Wolfgang in a Groundhog Day loop; or in a parallel universe; or realm hopping.

Wolfgang is so amazingly competent, unf. He’s unhealthily contained and can be scarily stone cold, but his relationships with Felix and Kala showed how deeply he can care and how dear he can be. I love Wolfgang/Kala, but, while a little pining or longing would be lovely, I want a story about his personal growth through friendships with other people, not the ship. Anything that ends with him realizing his self-loathing shouldn't keep them apart would be great.

I liked the show’s sparing use of the sensate bond—where interactions were largely one-on-one, sporadic, and easily interrupted; I'm less into constant, fluffy headspace parties. This bond was just as arbitrarily thrust upon Wolfgang as the family one he hates. How does he feel about all this? It was striking how we went from Jonas talking about how regular humans find it easy to kill because they feel nothing, straight to Wolfgang blowing everybody away. Is Jonas delusional, or do Wolfgang’s issues uniquely allow him to distance himself, or is it that he feels too much?

I'm here for Wolfgang's emotional well-being, but Lito is my actual favorite character. He's such a realistically flawed yet great guy, and all his scenes were hugely entertaining. Sure, he can be melodramatic and a little self-absorbed, but he's also so good at reading people. I’d love more about them becoming friends and exploring the humorous and/or practical possibilities and limitations of the bond together, whether in their heads or in person. You can pretend away the BPO-related drama and/or the fact that the cops might be looking for Wolfgang, or you can keep these elements as plot facilitators. Same goes for Lito’s picture drama. However you decide to write the Hernando/Lito+Dani situation will be fine by me.

All that said, you don’t have to include Lito if you do one of these next prompts... Does a Groundhog Day loop allow Wolfgang the time and do-overs he needs to reach a better emotional place? Does his experience in a parallel universe give him perspective or the drive to fix something back home (I'd be happy with more Kala/Wolfgang focus in these prompts)? Does the sensate connection turn off or work differently in one of these scenarios? For realm-hopping adventures, what about Wolfgang in Atlantis? Or on Lost's Island? Does he make new friends? Defeat some baddies? I’d like it better if these prompts were not connected to the sensate mythology; it’s just as weird as it would be if it happened to someone from a non-scifi fandom. And please don’t make crossover characters sensates. For more crossover info, see here.


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September 2017


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