General Stuff About Preferences
Things I Like (in no particular order, some mutually exclusive, and all definitely not required!):
Use of bits of canon in interesting or unexpected ways
Sweetness or fluff
Cute or funny hijinks
Crossovers (I adore crossovers, even with fandoms I've never heard of, so feel free to do that if you like!)
Slash, het, AND gen
Pining that turns out to be requited
Unspoken but understood affection
Interesting or well-written original characters
In general, this year I'm looking for fun fic that embraces and has fun with tropes (romantic tropes, plot tropes, etc) and not fic that deconstructs them.
Things I Don't Really Like:
Darkfic or unhappy endings (some degree of bittersweetness or tragedy is fine, but I don't like overwhelming hopelessness or pain)
Extremely detailed sex scenes; pure smut or plot-what-plot (I have no objection to sex scenes, but I generally prefer to skim over them in favor of character development or plot)
Things That Squick Me Hard:
Embarrassment (characters making fools of themselves or being made fools of in front of others)
Ostracism/Bullying (characters being rejected and made fun of for not fitting into a group)
Prompts And Fandom-Specific Stuff
So this year I don't have much extra stuff to add in my letter about each fandom, because I sort of just babbled A LOT in the prompt boxes.
FANDOM 1: Choice of Broadsides
CHARACTER: Female Protagonist
I am so in love with this game's female-protagonist genderswapped universe. "I'm a young lady. The idea of gentlemen going to sea and being exposed to the horrors of combat--it's a frankly revolting idea." SO COOL! So I would love to see some fic exploring this, and especially some fic with male characters performing their own genderswapped roles. Genderswapped regency romance with a young gentleman and our dashing young naval officer? Or a young gentleman healing a broodingly beautiful officer's war-damaged heart? (I admit, I bungled my own chances at romance in the game, so I'm feeling a little deprived!) Or maybe a genderswapped version of the crossdressing-to-go-to-war trope where a young gentleman disguises himself as a woman and sneaks aboard Our Heroine's ship?
Note, I don't ship (heh) the protagonist and Villeneuve in a romantic way, so I'm sorry if you were hoping to write romance fic about them! However, I do LOVE the enemies-become-tentative-friends/allies trope and the honor-between-enemies trope and I love that you get the option to go this route with Villeneuve, so if you want to write about Villeneuve and Our Heroine I would be thrilled with a friendship fic (enemy-friendship fic?) about them. Maybe they need to work together to defeat some kind of common enemy? Maybe the protagonist goes undercover as a spy in Gaul and Villeneuve runs into her? Or maybe just more scenes exploring their time together, like on Villeneuve's captured ship when they were prisoner and captor?
Basically, anything with our naval protagonists performing their gender roles of being competent and gentlewomanly and dashing and badass, with the possible addition of male characters performing their gender roles of having been raised to be delicate sheltered flowers (possibly breaking out of that role, or possibly not; it's all good! But that's definitely what they were raised to be...)
If you're stuck when trying to choose a name, my protagonist's name was Abigail Cross. However, please do not feel obligated to use this name; this is just in case you were having trouble thinking of one!
If you matched with me on another fandom but got a bad case of writer's block, Choice of Broadsides is a free text-based choose-your-own adventure game with a cool genderswapped-AU option that you may enjoy trying!
FANDOM 2: Arauco War Epics - Alonso de Ercilla & Pedro de Oña
CHARACTERS: Tucapel, Rengo, Gualeva
So for Real Life/academic reasons I have been reading both Ercilla's La Araucana and de Oña's Arauco Domado, and my brain is exhausted from reading two really long epic poems, and I would really really love some fic about them as a fun/refreshing break. (By the way, it's probably pretty rare that someone has read both La Araucana AND Arauco Domado, so if you've only read one--most likely La Araucana since that's the one that has been canonized as Literature--please feel free to write; knowledge of both is absolutely not required!)
I picked these three characters because I love the "honorable rivals" thing that Rengo and Tucapel have going on in La Araucana (they have to be ordered to postpone their duel until after the battle with the Spanish! But then Tucapel saves Rengo's life in battle!), and I love Gualeva's epic search-and-rescue effort looking for Tucapel in Arauco Domado (she fucking grabs a sword and a quiver of arrows and sets off to look for him, how badass is that?). Note, Gualeva runs into Rengo on her search for Tucapel, and if you want to somehow turn this into a Gualeva-Tucapel-Rengo OT3 I have absolutely no problems with that!
You don't have to stick to just the three listed characters, though; if you have a fic idea for absolutely ANY CHARACTER in the two epics I would be thrilled. Lautaro? Caupolican? Ercilla himself? Or there's this persistent thing by the writers where they put words in the Araucanians' mouths that once they defeat the Spaniards they want to GO AND CONQUER SPAIN and OMG WHAT IF THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. (Gualeva, Tucapel and Rengo have badass adventures in Europe?)
Just, please, not an angsty fic about the evils of Spanish colonialism. In a serious context the issue is super important (remember, I've been reading the epics for academic reasons; I am currently IMMERSED in reading about Spanish colonialism) but in a Yuletide context what I really want is fun, shippy-or-cracky-or-tropey fic to bring joy to my exhausted brain. :D
EXTRA STUFF: This fandom consists of two really long epic poems. If you matched with me on another fandom but got a bad case of writer's block, I'm pretty sure this is NOT a good choice for a fandom to attempt to get into instead. XD
FANDOM 3: Zombadings 1: Patayin sa shokot si Remington | Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings
CHARACTERS: Remington, Hannah, Jigs
OMG, Hannah, Remington and Jigs. That was LITERALLY THE CLOSEST thing I have ever seen to a movie having an honest-to-God OT3 endgame. So yeah, I would love to see Hannah/Remington/Jigs OT3 fic. Really, someone just needs to hit that boy Remington with a clue-by-four re: the existence of bisexuality. Jigs seems comfortably bisexual and Hannah would probably be cool with her boyfriend having a boyfriend. Maybe Jigs and Hannah are both in love with Remington but they get a little prickly towards each other and have to learn to share? Maybe they start off as just each of them being together with Remington, and not with each other, then they start to fall for each other as well and it becomes an equilateral OT3 where everyone is together with everyone else?
If you don't want to write Hannah/Remington/Jigs, what about a fic about Remington's mom Fe and his newly-flaming-gay dad? In the final scenes they seem to be handling it really well, and I would actually love to see more of that: them being a loving and happy couple in spite of the fact that instead of a mutual attraction, they now have a shared attraction to hot guys? XD
If you matched with me on another fandom but got a bad case of writer's block, feel free to check out the fansub of this movie on Youtube! Be warned, it has a LOT of "gayness played for laughs" humor, but it also has some very surprisingly touching and well-handled moments! And also an adorable ending scene with two guys and a girl squished together on a piano bench.
FANDOM 4: Fushigi Yuugi
CHARACTERS: Hotohori, Nakago
So I fell in love with this pairing despite there being only about three fanfics in existence for it. The possibilities are just so rich. On one hand you have the noble, romantic, lonely, slightly sheltered (but still very badass) emperor of a country, and on the other hand you have the cold, manipulative, damaged, ruthless (but secretly not COMPLETELY heartless) shogun of the enemy country. Both the personalities and the politics involved have so much potential to make sparks fly!
So, I would love to see a fic about one of the situations where they could interact and get to know each other. On the battlefield? Nakago goes to Konan for diplomatic negotiations? Nakago goes to Konan to assassinate Hotohori? Hotohori goes to Kutou for diplomatic negotiations? Hotohori is a hostage/prisoner of war? Or maybe they were SUPPOSED to meet in one of these situations but instead they get thrown into a situation where they have to work together to survive?
Obviously I would love fic about this as a romantic/sexual pairing, but if you're not comfortable writing that, I would also love gen fic about them interacting! Any of the scenarios above would also work great for reluctant-friendship/tentative-allies type fics. :D
(You can set this pre-canon, or you can set it in a world where the Suzaku no Miko never came and thus Konan and Kutou were left to resolve their differences without divine intervention [and thus need their Emperor and Shogun to work it out? :P])
Sorry if you were surprised at getting a request for pairing fic for such an unusual pairing! Again, I would be fine if you can't write them as a pairing and can only write this as gen; I tried to explain in my prompt why I think it would be so interesting to have a fic about these two interacting, because of their positions leading enemy countries and because of their very different personalities.
In case you were interested, or just for posterity's sake, or whatever, here are the three Hotohori/Nakago fics whose existence I'm aware of:
Patterns of Fate (the fic that made me start shipping these two!)
A World Without a Miko
Thank you again, Yuletide Writer, and I hope that my letter helped you! In any case, please just have fun and enjoy yourself while writing the fic, and I'm sure I will love whatever you end up writing!