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Lira ([personal profile] catlarks) wrote2016-06-28 05:36 pm

Rare Pairs 2016: Dear Author Letter

Hello, mystery creator!

First and foremost, allow me to thank you for writing for me. We've matched on a series I have a great fondness for, and I think that's really great. The theme of my requests this exchange seems to primarily be "ladies I adore" and I hope you love these characters just as much as I do.

Optional details are always optional, so if you have an idea you really love, go for it! All I ask of you, above all else, is that you avoid the following: gratuitous angst for angst's sake, rape, abuse, physical assault, terminal or mental illnesses, homophobia as a plot device, jealousy as a plot device, pregnancy or child-rearing, and foot fetishes.

If you'd like a general idea of my likes and dislikes in fic, expanded upon at what I admit is somewhat exhaustive length, I refer you to this post here. If AUs are something you fancy — and I do fancy them, you can rarely go wrong writing me an AU especially one you're really excited about — I refer you to this post where I talk about the types of AUs I love and why. (if nothing else, the "do not want" list of AUs will serve you well, if writing an AU fic.)

I know I rushed my actual signup on AO3 so this letter is everything you have to go on. (And I'm super late posting it because fun facts, I accidentally deleted the original post I made on DW and had to email the mods to add this new link to my signup. That mess threw me off my game writing this for A While.)

Without further ado, I present to you: my fandoms, my feelings on the ships I've requested, and some prompt ideas if you'd like somewhere to start from.

Love Live

Ship Requested: Eli/Umi

Spoiler Policy: You can't go wrong! I've seen both "seasons" of the anime and I play the game religiously. Any trivia you can think of which you might want to incorporate into fic, I am interested in seeing.

AU Policy: I would adore one! I will equally love a canon-based fic because I love both Eli and Umi in canon but an AU will nevertheless earn a special place in my heart. Fantasy, sci-fi, and crime-related premises are equally intriguing to me, and I'd love any situation where Eli is placed in a mentoring role relative to Umi, whether it be overt (i.e. magic tutor and apprentice) or more subtle (mystery patron helping Umi out of tight spots) because I love Eli having valuable experience to share with Umi.

Why I Love This Ship: They have a specific common ground not shared with the other girls of mu's and I like to think that it's a platform from which they could really understand and support each other. They're both classically trained with dance (Eli with ballet, Umi with traditional Japanese dance) and used to wielding authority (Eli as student council president, Umi first as Honoka and Kotori's voice of reason, then as student council vice president), but more than that, they're each two of the more "serious," reserved members of mu's, the ones who take a million burdens onto their shoulders and who have difficulty allowing themselves to relax.

I love them together because I think they could be comfortable with each other in a way they'd be with few other people, and would know how to make each other relax, because they're familiar with the same behaviors in themselves. I love the thought of them supporting and encouraging each other in their passions, even when they're for quite different things, and in having quiet moments together, just existing in each other's space and pampering the other. They're my crying love live OTP and my two favorite characters for the series and honestly, as long as you write them with heart and compassion I will love anything you make for me.

Optional Prompts: I ended up recycling these from previous requests because my desires with this ship have become So Predictable.

-If you're going canon, future fic several years down the line where they both have grown-up jobs and are living together. I love cohabitation and there's not enough fic like this.

-Any AU where Eli is in a mentoring role and Umi is learning from her. Mage Eli teaching apprentice Umi the ways of magic? Investigator Eli taking Umi under her wing on a case? Goddess Eli subtly playing her part in Umi's growth, in whatever arena that might concern? All good.

-I really enjoy the thought of Eli supporting Umi periodically, and then Umi eventually repaying the favor in a big way, so any interpretation of that premise.

-Any AU where Eli and Umi are rivals. It's not something we see in canon, but with the ways they're similar, I'd love to see them getting to know each other in a different setting, and trying to figure each other out, and each maybe thinking she has the upper hand, even if maybe she doesn't.

Madoka Magica

Ship Requested: Homura/Mami

Spoiler Policy: Anything and everything is fair game. I've seen the anime and the movies and as far as Rebellion goes I can take it or leave it, do with its canon how you will. (I think the ending is kind of cheap, to be fair, but I also feel fandom exists to make the best of canon's shortcomings.)

AU Policy: I love them, but would definitely prefer canon-based AUs to an entirely separate premise, like a world where magical girls never existed and Homura and Mami are astronauts, or something. I especially love time shenanigans, so any AU that hinges on Homura's abilities would be amazing.

Why I Love This Ship: It's a self-indulgent "stick your fave with your other fave" ship, but I also feel like there's a lot of missed opportunity with Homura and Mami (with anyone and Mami) considering how early Mami's death is in the series. What I like most about Homura and Mami both is their maturity. The other three girls feel a lot more rough around the edges: Kyouko with her anger, Sayaka with her desperation, Madoka with her inexperience. Meanwhile Homura and Mami each have this polish to them, albeit a different flavor in each case. I love thinking about how they got it — Homura got hers through countless repetitions of the same experiences, drilling it into her being through brute force. Whereas Mami only had one chance, one timeline, one set of experiences that formed her into the veteran she is. I'd love to see their similarities — and their differences — explored.

Optional Prompts:

-Fic that plays with the idea of Homura's experience versus Mami's experience, and what it means to learn in a situation where you can fail over, and over, and over and refine yourself through that, versus what it means to learn in a situation where any mistake is the end and where care and deliberation are therefore paramount to survival.

-Fic that plays with the Rebellion concept of Homura knowing something is missing after Madoka is gone, but which takes it in some other direction.

-Fic that relies on Homura's time loop abilities to move the plot, be it related to solving a problem, or more in the vein of "a fic exploring one of the alternate timelines." I'd really love to see any timeline where Homura and Mami have a different relationship together.

-Fic that examines Homura's struggles from when she was new to being a magical girl. Canon timeline Homura is very much My Type of character, but I'd love to see Mami mentoring her when she's less sure of herself, and to see a relationship with that almost senpai/kouhai feel.

-On the flipside of that, fic that focuses on their relationship as equals and veterans who can understand each other, emphasis on the "understanding."

Emelan Books

Ship Requested: Lark/Rosethorn

Spoiler Policy: I've read all the books in the original quartet, the follow-up quartet, and Will of the Empress. I'm rusty on some of the canon but don't worry about spoilers; I've also reread the original quartet in the past year, so I've had a renewal of my fondness for these books.

AU Policy: I'm not particularly interested in full on, alternate world AUs for this series. The canon universe surrounding Winding Circle and the world of the books is just so rich and fascinating that I'd love to stay in it. However, I am open to canon-based AUs, I.E. alternate versions of how Lark and Rosethorn's lives could have gone in their own world.

Why I Love This Ship: I love both characters and I really love mentoring, so within the context of the books I have a lot of fondness for Lark and for Rosethorn. I love that they each have a different approach to teaching their charges but that both approaches are founded in love and compassion and a sincere desire to see children learn. I just think their relationship (is) would be so warm and nurturing and rewarding, and I'd love to see more of that.

Optional Prompts:

-Quiet, domestic, established relationship fic, bonus points for incorporating their magical specialities.

-Fic focusing on a stolen moment together in between raising a bunch of magical teenagers.

-Get together fic with young!Lark and young!Rosethorn first getting to know each other.

-Anything focusing on their backgrounds before Winding Circle! Especially Lark, I'd love to see more about hers. (And in this vein, a canon divergent AU where they still meet, but as the people they were before Winding Circle, and their lives go in a totally different direction would be really cool.)

-Any AU that's still set in the world of Emelan, but where Lark and Rosethorn are in different social or societal positions from canon. We get a lot of little peeks into other parts of the world's society and it'd be neat to see those two in some of those other roles and life experiences.

Young Wizards Books

Ship Requested: Ed'rashtekaresket/Nita Callahan

Spoiler Policy: I've been doing a big reread of all the books in order to catch up to and read Games Wizards Play. As of right now I'm on A Wizard of Mars, so ALMOST THERE!! I'm going to request no spoilers for Games Wizards Play, as I'm not confident I'll finish reading it before gifts are revealed, but everything else is fair game (even with the ship I requested and the likely limitations of that.)

AU Policy: I'm not particularly interested in canon-divorced AUs for this specific Young Wizards request, though explorations of alternate versions of the series canon could be quite interesting.

Why I Love This Ship: To be really honest, I made this request because it's the second time I've seen Ed/Nita nominated as a ship and I'm just so curious what could be done with it. Obviously someone out there wants to see it enough to nominate it, and I want to see it, too! Writing it as Ed/Nita indicates a romance and that's not what I would consider from canon, but it is true that the Song of the Twelve talks about romance — not old enough to love, as yet, but old enough to die, indeed — and that really does open some doors for exploration. I'd just love to see more of the really interesting relationship Nita builds with Ed in canon, in whatever way you choose to frame it.

Optional Prompts: I don't have a lot of specifics for prompts, with this one; mostly I have my thoughts on the "ship" and the hope that you can build from there. But in the name of being thorough...

-Anything focused on the concept of not being old enough to love, and the fact that this does in its way apply to Ed as much as it does to Nita.

-Character study fic with Ed. There's so much interesting mythology to the role of the Master Shark and I'd love to see that explored in whatever way it might be approached.

-Something using Timeheart to come at stuff with Nita and Ed from a later point in the series timeline? I hesitate to say there's "unfinished business," because their business was very finished, in a very final way. But I do think there's more to poke at, and doing it from a more removed vantage point could be really interesting.

-If you can swing something more "actual romance," you know, I'd love to see it. I want to know how far this ship can be pushed while still fitting with the emotional tone of the series.

Daiya no Ace

Ship Requested: Furuya/Miyuki, Ryousuke/Miyuki, Haruichi/Miyuki

Spoiler Policy: I'm an anime-only fan, so primarily I would appreciate if game spoilers for manga-only (year two) content be avoided. I'm totally cool with manga fans using that additional canon to flesh out relationships and to bring in any trivia about characters that might have come up, but I'd definitely prefer not to receive a story set in year two that requires a knowledge of year two canon events to be fully appreciated.

AU Policy: Boy would I love to read one!! This exchange signup is funny for me because I have so many fandoms where I'd only like to see canon-divergent AUs, but for love live and daiya THE SKY IS THE LIMIT. My favorite genres of AU are as always sci-fi, fantasy, and crime-related premises, though I'll mention I'm also a huge fan of body horror and magical transformation type stuff. I love AU premises with a creepy, unsettling feeling to them.

Why I Love This Ship: For this fandom, I requested three ships, so I'll do this a little differently. The common thread between my ships of choice is Miyuki, who is hands-down my favorite character in the series. My headcanon is for aromantic Miyuki who doesn't especially "get" or even care for romance as it's typically seen, so if you can at minimum attempt not to contradict that with a super sappy, super romo Miyuki, I would adore that.

I just see Miyuki as being this very logical, calculated, facts-driven person, who doesn't make impulse decisions based on "feelings," he always acts with his head, with a plan. And that doesn't always mean making the best decisions because he loves a challenge and loves tackling problems and situations which might be too complicated or difficult for him to deal with, or he might make decisions without realizing XYZ factor will affect the outcome, but bad results don't mean thoughtlessness. I think he deliberately isolates himself from people because he's deemed that the best way to achieve the results he wants, in favor of those groups of people, and that even if he reasons better down the road he's already committed to that course and somewhat locked in to the choice he made. All of this is stuff I'd love to see poked at with Miyuki, if you are so inclined.

That said, ships! Furumiyu is my crying daiya OTP where I am eternally ready to wail over Furuya coming to Seidou specifically for Miyuki, and over Miyuki expressing outright that he understands Furuya, and his tendency to not be in the center of attention, and I just think they fit together really well each with their unique flavor of oddness.

For RyouMiyu, I'm interested in the possible dynamic between Miyuki and someone arguably even more calculated than he is. Ryousuke has authority over Miyuki within the school hierarchy of "being a senpai" to this person a year younger than him, and has a reputation for being sharp-tongued and merciless. There are other characters (Haruichi, Tanba, Kuramochi) to whom Ryousuke does show more softness, but with Miyuki I'd prefer to see him using more of a rough hand and Miyuki being Totally Into That. Ryousuke is one of the hugest challenges Miyuki can take on with people, and I just love the idea of them sizing each other up out of a sense of fascination.

For MiyuHaru, I admit that a big part of my desire comes from thinking the idea of Ryousuke disapproving is HILARIOUS. Overall, I do think that Ryousuke would stay out of Haruichi's romantic life and trust him to make good decisions, and that with most people Haruichi might date, Ryousuke wouldn't interfere (outside maybe bullying the SO in typical Big Brother fashion, but where that's more who Ryousuke is than because it's protecting Haruichi). However, I feel like with Miyuki, Ryousuke would take one look and internally go, "Are you serious? Do you really want to touch that?" and I do think that NAVIGATING that antagonism from Ryousuke would be a challenge Miyuki is drawn to.

Aside from that, though, I do sincerely like the idea of Miyuki and Haruichi together. I think even in a situation where Miyuki began flirting with Haruichi purely to see if it'd get a reaction from and provoke big bro, that Haruichi is clever and insightful in a way Miyuki would really enjoy, and that they'd fit together remarkably well, no matter what Miyuki's reasons for beginning the relationship might have been. I'd really love to see that explored, the things about each of them that are in parallel, the ways in which they could understand each other.

Optional Prompts: This section will be a mess because Multiple Ships but I'm doing my best, if daiya is what we matched on... I'm so sorry.

-Any AU, for any of my ships! This is just my blanket reminder that I SURE DO LOVE AUS. Bonus points for Miyuki getting in over his head in whatever situation, bonus points for kind of terrible things happening to Miyuki but him having A Good Time in spite of them, super bonus points for premises where Furuya, Ryousuke, or Haruichi is inhuman in some variety (robot, magical creature, eldritch horror? I'll take any and every answer here) and Miyuki thinks that's GREAT, he wants to involve himself with that.

-Mix-and-match between my ships. I know some people don't like this, they multiship but prefer each ship to exist on its own in any one fic, but if you're interested in exploring one of these ships where one of the others also is/was a thing, I'm down for that.

-In that vein, I think a premise where RyouMiyu was briefly a thing (my ideal: in a headgames-and-sex kind of way where they puzzled each other out as much as was entertaining and then split pretty amicably) only for Miyuki to flirt with Haruichi next would be really interesting? It gives Ryousuke a reason to be distrustful, because he knows how Miyuki was like with him and that's well and good but is that what Haruichi wants? And it allows for a contrast in how Miyuki relates to each of them, because I do think he'd be very different with Haruichi.

-Likewise, the combination of FuruMiyu and MiyuHaru at once would be really interesting to me, because they're each ~kouhai~ but where Miyuki handles ~being senpai~ very differently in both cases. I also think Furuya would handle sharing at once Very Badly but also with no problems at all? On some counts he's quite possessive of Miyuki (catching for him) but in other ways he seems very capable of going with the flow.

-The fic where Miyuki initially flirts with Haruichi as a means of flirting with (death) Ryousuke's disdain, only to oh no actually really enjoy Haruichi's company and the kind of person Haruichi is.

-Anything exploring aromantic Miyuki as a primary focus, but without making it Issue Fic. I never want to see this as a thing characters have big, inflated, concrete discussions about, but I'd love to see another character navigating having a relationship with someone who just... Fundamentally doesn't understand some of the things they're feeling, but who still has a great deal of affection for them and wants to be in a relationship with them. (give me this with furumiyu in particular, please, please, I think Furuya would be especially good at it, but that it'd also take a lot of puzzling on his part because of the particular direct, almost simplistic way he relates to the world at large.)

-Anything where Miyuki views Ryousuke as a challenge and is constantly trying to get a straight read on him, to get one over on him, and just fails. Repeatedly. Ryousuke is too good at this.

-Any AU that features all four of these characters, with a focus on whichever ship of your choosing. If I've lucked out and Furuya, Haruichi, Ryousuke AND Miyuki are characters you'd care to write, I'd love to see what Miyuki's platonic relationship with (either of) the other two is like in any fic where he's in a relationship with the third.

-Riffing off of that: I would prefer not to see ships other than those I have requested in a gift for me, because I have several dealbreaker NOTPs which I just really cannot stand to read for daiya. (most specifically: kuramiyu and chrisawa, please don't even remotely allude to those.) However, other side relationships I'd be happy to see are Chris+Miyuki and Ryousuke+Kuramochi, and I won't say no to shitty best friends Miyuki+Kuramochi. Likewise, I adore Tanba (and his relationship with Ryousuke, with Miyuki, with Furuya) so cameos from him or coach Kataoka are relevant to me.

Anyway! That all said — and I know it was a lot to say, so if you've read all of it (or even just the main section and one fandom section because, WOW, takes a moment to breathe) — the main thing I'm dying to see is fic that celebrates character. I know that whoever you are, dear mystery gifter, you're chomping at the bit to get writing, and have kindly waited for me to finish this up. Thank you for considering what I have to say and for waiting for this letter, I'm very excited to see what you produce!

(Anonymous) 2016-07-08 03:47 pm (UTC)(link)
This is your assignee - any TBA for the letter? :) Just asking so I can get started writing soon /cracks knuckles

(Anonymous) 2016-07-08 06:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, no, they're still trying to wrestle AO3 into submission, but you can send them a mail and ask for your assignment. If they can't manage to debug the whole thing, everyone will get their assignments per mail on Sunday. (Also, they want to push the deadline for handing in back in accordance with the delay now). I just couldn't wait to find out who I was matched for, so I asked :> Don't worry, I'll check back then~!