skieswideopen (skieswideopen) wrote,

Dear Yuletide Writer

Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you for writing for me!

First of all, in my experience, the best stories are the ones that people are really inspired to write. So if there's a story from one of my fandoms where the whole thing is laid out in your head and it's just perfect and you're absolutely aching to write it, then write that. Don't worry about anything else I say here; just write that.

In case you don't have that perfect story already in mind, here are some things I like and some things I'd rather avoid this time around. (I should probably apologize for the length of this letter. Please don't be put off by it! I'm trying to give both information and options here, so that there's something that works for you. I don't expect you to include most of what I say here.)

In general, I like action, plot, introspection, first times, outsider POVs, competence, character studies, angst, slice of life, non-schmoopy romance, sweet and bittersweet tones, stories that explore the characters' pasts, and stories that focus on friendship. (Obviously not all together!) Typically I don't care for whump, genderswap, betrayal, mistaken identity, humiliating or embarrassing people, tossing aside canon relationships without acknowledging them at all, and long and detailed recoveries from traumatic events.

I'd rather not have gratuitous sex or character death, but I'm happy to read plot-related sex or death. For this ficathon, I'd also rather not go into complete AUs where the characters fill different roles than they do in canon. But if you want to go for a crossover that does a reasonable job of staying true to both canons, I'm always up for that. You can get a pretty good sense of the other fandoms I like by checking my interests in my LJ profile.

I'm a bit picky about pairings. It's not a gender issue--I regularly read and enjoy het, slash, and femslash--it's just a matter of whether I can see those particular characters together. Often I can't. But I'm always happy to read gen or stories that feature canon relationships. So if the pairings I mention--where I mention them--don't appeal to you, please feel free to default to gen or canon.

In terms of my specific requests--should my prompts for the fandom we were matched not appeal to you--what you've got to work with is one fairly well-known U.S. network show, two relatively obscure Canadian television shows--one about a telepathic paramedic trying to figure out where he comes from and one about an 800-year-old former monk who now reluctantly collects souls for the devil--and one novel. If you don't like what we were matched on, the easiest one to catch up with is the The Blue Castle, which can be found online here and in a few other places as well. The second easiest one to catch up on is The Listener, which has only had one season of thirteen episodes so far...if you can track them down. (I think a couple of episodes are up on YouTube.)

For the other two shows, you're looking at two to three seasons, which is a lot more to catch up on. Of course, you don't necessarily have to see the whole show to write about it. I'm sure you can find places to get The Mentalist. If you're interested in The Collector, there are some clips here and some complete episodes here.

Finally, I've listed a bunch of specific ideas for each of my requests. I'm doing that because as a writer, when I'm writing to a request, I appreciate having a starting point. But if you don't work that way, or if none of those ideas appeal to you, then please ignore them and do what you want to. They're meant to help, not hinder.

Copy-and-paste of my fandom-specific comments from the sign-up form, with a little elaboration:

The Mentalist: Patrick Jane, Teresa Lisbon

I like all of the characters, and I'm happy to read a story that includes any of them. Although I've specified both Jane and Lisbon, I'm happy with a story that includes one but not the other, or that focuses on one while minimizing the role of the other.

I'd prefer not to read about non-canon intra-team pairings, but if you want to write about canon pairings or introduce OCs to pair people off with, that's fine, especially if the focus remains on the effect of those relationships on relationships between the canon characters. And if you want to pair up Jane and Lisbon, that's okay too, as long as it doesn't happen too easily, and as long as there's some acknowledgment of Jane's internal conflict over moving on.

Other things I'd like: a story about a character's past, having someone from the past appear in the present, life outside of the CBI, friendship between the characters, something that breaks through Jane's shields just a little. And general team and case fic is always good too.

I'd really prefer it if Red John didn't kidnap anyone from the team. Other than that, I'll be happy with anything you write.

I promised more specific ideas, so here they are. Obviously this is a list of the "pick one or maybe two" variety.

Something about Jane's past, life with is father or his carnie days or something with his wife and/or daughter. Having Jane's father pop up in the present--perhaps in his role as con artist? Having a relative or childhood/college friend of Lisbon's appear. Jane's take on Lisbon/Mashburn. Lisbon's take on Lisbon/Mashburn. Jane's daily life outside of the CBI. What does he do? Is there anyone he interacts with? Coffee barista? Librarian? Neighbours? What do they think of him? How does he act around them? Putting Jane in a position where he is forced to be temporarily responsible for someone else (a child, an injured or ill teammate, et cetera). Jane taking care of a child and reminding the team that this actually something he knows how to do. Lisbon's relationship with her team, especially Cho. Lisbon's relationship with Hightower. Lisbon's or Van Pelt's religious beliefs, in contrast to Jane's (but please don't convert Jane or have him find God or confront him with an otherwise inexplicable miracle).

The Listener: Toby Logan

There's virtually no fanfic for this show, so I'm going to be happy no matter what gets written. I'd rather Toby not be paired with Ray or Oz, and I'd rather something that addresses the whole telepathy issue in some way. Other than that, go wild.

Specific plot starting points (again of the completely optional, "pick one" variety): Toby encounters someone from his time as a foster child--randomly runs into a fellow foster kid one day or answers an emergency call to find it's a former foster-father who's having a heart attack or meets with a former foster-sibling who's now a doctor or nurse or police officer. Revisiting what it was like growing up as a telepath (for school, for dating, et cetera). Addressing what led Toby to decide to become an EMT. Addressing why was Charlie so troubled by his ability to read his thoughts and how she worked through it (to the extent that she did). Addressing what it means for Olivia to have a telepathic boyfriend. Toby meeting up with Iris again and perhaps helping her in some way. Or the two of them helping each other. Addressing who kidnapped Toby's brother and why. Toby finally finding his mother. Or just a general day-in-the-life of a telepathic paramedic. Whatever you want to write. Really.

The Collector: Morgan Pym, Maya Kandinski

This is another fandom for which there's almost no fanfic, and so again I'm not terribly picky.

I'd love to see something about the relationship between Maya and Morgan, especially after she learns the truth about who he is and what he does. Doesn't have to be romantic, though it certainly could be. Really, just anything about her learning more or wanting to learn more or things he doesn't want her to know...whatever. Or her calling him on the way he runs hot and cold toward her, and him actually responding in some way to that conversation.

Apart from the Maya-and-Morgan thing, I'd also love to see more about Morgan's relationship with the devil over the years (in which case you should feel free to exclude Maya from the story), or something lighthearted with Maya and Taylor friendship (in which case you should feel free to exclude Morgan from the story), or Maya trying to force some sort of celebration on Morgan, or some sort of client-of-the-week case, especially if Maya helps him some way. Or a story actually set in Morgan's past. Or something that addresses his hobby of conducting medical research--how he does it, or what happens when he succeeds. Or if you're very ambitious, go ahead and address of one of the plotlines they left dangling, like Gabriel's real power and role, or why the devil agreed to let Morgan try to save people, or what the other collectors think of Morgan, or what role heaven is playing, or whether Morgan will ever achieve any sort of salvation. But again, anything you want to do is great.

The Blue Castle: Any

Really, the only thing I'm looking for here is something that doesn't undermine Valancy's relationship with Barney. Anything else goes: their lives after their marriage, or Barney's take on their courtship, or how Valancy's relationship with her family changes after her marriage, or Barney and Valancy at a family gathering, or what the family and friends think of the new Valancy, or reinterpreting Olive or Valancy's mother, or Valancy's friendship with Cissy, or something from earlier in Cissy's life. Or anything else you want to do, of course! Something sweet or bittersweet or romantic or funny would be great.

I don't really have much to add here. I realize there are a whole bunch of characters I didn't address, and if you want to write about one of them instead or as well, please do. Aunts, uncles, cousins, Roaring Abel...whoever appeals to you! Or go into the future and invent some children for Valancy and Barney and have them talk about their parents and aunts and uncles and cousins. Have fun with it.

Thanks again for writing! I'm looking forward to reading whatever you write!

This entry was originally posted at, where it has comment count unavailable comments. Comments are equally welcome on either entry.
Tags: dear author, yuletide
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