catlarks: Shalnark from Hunter x Hunter grinning against a red background. (Default)
Lira ([personal profile] catlarks) wrote2016-09-05 04:29 pm

Femslash Exchange: Dear Author Letter

Hello, mystery creator!

Firstly and most importantly: thank you for writing for me! My requests this year are across a variety of media formats (anime, books, american TV) so the odds that we've matched on only one are high. Nevertheless, I'm really excited that you love (at least!) one of these series that I love, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you make for me.

I have some "please avoid"s by fandom, but more than anything the blanket things I ask that you avoid are 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.

Beyond this, if there's a story for one of these pairs you're dying to tell, chances are I want to read it! Everything here — incredibly TL;DR though it might be, and as comprehensive as I can try to make it — is just what info I can give you on the things I love and the kind of taste I have. On a more general note, I can also refer you to this post about things I like and dislike in fiction, outside of just these fandoms.

If you're interested in writing an AU — I for one love them! — I've written some stuff here about the kinds of AUs I love and why. The basic rule of thumb is: fantasy, science fiction, and crime-related premises are my faves. There are a few things that will really bum me out with AUs, so if nothing else: the "do not want" section is my friend and I will love you for reading it.

That all said, read on for specific info by fandom~

Princess Nine

Ship Requested: Keiko/Ryou

Spoiler Policy: I've seen all of the anime and if there's supplemental canon, I don't know about it but don't mind being spoiled for it: interpret at will.

AU Policy: I'm not especially interested in AUs for this canon, because I feel that this relationship in particular depends a lot on the canon situation to function, and that's what I want to see explored.

Why I Love This Ship: The entire premise of Princess Nine pretty much boils down to "Chairman of a prestigious girls' school decides she's going to start a baseball team, specifically so she can take this one girl to nationals." And sure, it's actually more about Ryou's father than it's about Ryou, but I spent half the series being like "holy shit Keiko has such a thing for this high school girl" and I couldn't get over that. I don't want to get over that. I love age gaps and I love this ship where Ryou is almost more of an ideal than a person, but where Keiko fights for her as that ideal (and can be argued to come to care for her as the person she truly is, through doing so.)

Optional Prompts:

-I have but one concrete prompt for this fandom: the fic in which Ryou plays through three years of high school baseball with Keiko watching over her, at the end of which Keiko confesses to her.

-Bonus Prompt: Write Hiroki the fuck out. In whatever way you see fit. I'm just completely disinterested in his romance plot with Ryou and would be delighted to see it neutralized in just about any fashion.

-Something from Keiko's perspective specifically focused on the transference of attraction from Ryou's dad, the pitcher, to Ryou, the pitcher. A certain amount of guilt on Keiko's part expected and appreciated, but not required.

-This is terrible, but my taste is terrible so I'm setting it on the table anyway: the scenario in which Izumi is interested in Ryou, but Ryou is more charmed by Izumi's mother. Izumi has a lot of conflicted stuff going on with her mother in canon and I am interested in seeing how Keiko would navigate an age gap relationship, especially when it's with her daughter's friend.


Ship Requested: Chihaya/Oe, Chihaya/Sumire, Sumire/Oe, Chihaya/Sumire/Oe

Spoiler Policy: I'm an anime-only fan who does intend to read the manga (albeit not until it finishes, since I hear the end is in sight), and as such I'd prefer if manga spoilers could be avoided. If you're a manga reader, please do draw on interpersonal developments beyond what the anime depicts if that informs your characterization; mostly I'd prefer game details and larger scale plot stuff not be mentioned, if possible.

AU Policy: For this fandom, I absolutely would adore AUs! (and find them a nice way to avoid "does this count as a manga spoiler?" tbh.) With this series, I feel fantasy or fairytale settings in particular might be fun, and as much as I'm picky with historical AUs, this is the fandom where I'd love to see one.

Why I Love This Ship: Chihaya is actually my favorite character in Chihayafuru; I want to see her loved and appreciated and to that end I ship her with half of everyone in the series. With the ships I've requested, that is the angle I come at most of them from: I love all of these girls so much and want to see them be good to each other, as best they can.

Dovetailing from that, I think what's most interesting with any of these pairs is the contrast in personality. Chihaya in particular is passionate and headstrong, and I'd love to see how that meshes with Oe's more reserved, patient, traditional outlook on life, or with Sumire's more socially savvy, very conscious of relationships way of looking at the world. And then there's Oe and Sumire: I feel like they're two different approaches to femininity, and I think it'd be really interesting to examine the ways they're similar but also different along that trajectory.

Then there's the poly option, where I think what's most interesting is to focus on the thing each girl is most passionate about, because they have different motivations and focus in life but each of them has something she really, really cares about, and I'd love to see them coming to an understanding about those things and how their girlfriends tick, and supporting each other as much as possible.

Optional Prompts:

-Oe and Sumire giving each other a makeover. I want to see Oe helping Sumire with traditional clothes, and Sumire doing Oe's makeup in a new and different way.

-Poly fic. I'd love to see a Chihaya/Oe/Sumire triad and how they make it work and how each bar of the relationship is different from the others.

-Future fic. Show me what they choose to do with their lives professionally (any combination of them) and how they juggle university and/or a career with seeing each other and maintaining their relationships.

-Domesticity fic in general. I love really soft, sedate stories about the moments in between the high points of characters' lives, things like cooking for each other, and eating together, and just generally taking care of each other.

-First date fic. Any of the possible couples. I want to see where they choose to go, is it awkward, is it a disaster, does Chihaya steamroller everything? Do they hold hands, do they have a first kiss? I'm weak to ladies being sweet to each other.

-Poly first date. Basically same as the other prompt except with the additional question of "how off the rails does it go if these three people all try to have a date together?"

-AU fic! Fairytale retellings, magical AUs in general, or for this fandom in particular: period AUs, please please. If it's something you feel confident writing, I'd love to see it. Give me these ladies in the Heian area or honestly any other historical period in Japan that you're familiar with, stuff like "a princess and her handmaiden" makes me weak.

Percy Jackson

Ship Requested: Annabeth/Reyna

Spoiler Policy: I know it's been a million years so this is ridiculous, but I still haven't finished Blood of Olympus. I'll be kicking my own ass to do so before reveals so have at it, all canon is fair game, I just figured it bears mentioning that I have avoided finishing this book, ahaha.

AU Policy: For this fandom, I'd kind of prefer canon compliant, or a canon-divergent AU? But if there's an AU you're dying to tell, I'd love to see which parts of their canon situation you translate into a new setting, and how.

Why I Love This Ship: Annabeth and Reyna are two of my most favorite characters in the series, and I just think they would have a really, really fascinating chemistry in a romantic relationship. Something I really enjoy in fiction is examinations of leadership and Reyna is the ideal of that, she's used to being an authority and taking the lead with difficult problems and tough decisions. On the flipside, Annabeth is less of a confirmed authority but is someone who's had experiences that give her a surprisingly similar frame of reference to the one Reyna has.

Basically, I feel like they're a lot more similar than either of them perhaps wanted to admit, and I'd love to see the sorts of conflict and understanding that come from being able to relate to each other in such a way. The one thing I ask of you: please be considerate in how you handle Percy, if you're sticking strict with canon. He's one of my other top favorite characters in the series and I absolutely do not want to see him demonized or cast as a villain. My preference, if you break Percy and Annabeth up, is definitely for an amicable breakup where they remain close as friends. (I'd actually love Percy + Annabeth friendship in the background, if that's something you're inclined towards.)

Optional Prompts:

-Post-series "putting it back together" fic. Percy kept talking about settling down in New Rome, what if Annabeth does do that, only it isn't with Percy?

-Falling in love fic. I'd love to see a close examination — from Annabeth or Reyna's perspective, either will be loved by me — of attraction, of the way their esteem for the other shifts and becomes something softer, or stronger. I want to see the events that play out to make this happen.

-Alternate canon fic. Sometimes stories where you examine how everything would be different if just this one thing changed can be really fun, and if there's one of those you'd like to tell, I'd love to read it.

-Poly fic. I personally prefer Percy and Annabeth's relationship as a really strong partnership and friendship that turned romantic as the result of life-or-death pressure as much as chemistry. I'd love to see any story that hinges on Percy and Annabeth's relationship as a starting point: the romance fading out and Annabeth's interest in Reyna taking its place, and how Annabeth deals with that; a poly V where Annabeth balances a relationship with Percy with the one she has with Reyna (and the ways each are different); a poly triad where Annabeth navigates bringing a third person into an existing relationship, bonus points for Percy and Reyna learning how to relate to each other. Any of this would be great fun to me.

-AU fic. I love the Percy Jackson world so much but I feel AUs are the easiest way to explore a relationship between Annabeth and Reyna so if there's an AU premise you're feeling, I'd love to see how you translate canon into a new situation.

Person of Interest

Ship Requested: Root/The Machine, Carter/Shaw, Carter/Zoe

Spoiler Policy: As of this writing, I've been rewatching the show from the beginning. I'm at the end of season three now, and have not watched four or five at all. (I wanted the refresh before doing so, I uh. Kinda stopped watching for two years after Carter died. I really love Carter.) Which is to say: with my ships, spoilers should only matter for Root/the Machine and honestly, have at it. I'll do my best to watch through the finale before reveals.

AU Policy: With this series, I'm not especially interested in AUs. I love the canon world so, so much so while I would not be at all opposed to canon-divergent AUs (even ones that stray pretty far afield or bring in actual magic or what have you) it's the POI world that I don't want to leave behind.

Why I Love This Ship: With Root and the Machine, there are just so many opportunities for things that I love. I love AI, and I love hackers, and I love the way Root relates to the machine, declaring it a woman and putting her on this pedestal as the goddess for whom Root will take any risk, endure any pain. I really love themes of loyalty and fealty and the way Root relates to the machine hits those same notes; Root will happily devote her life to this all-knowing entity. I think this is FASCINATING and I just want to see any and everything to do with it.

With my Carter ships, mostly I just really, really adore Carter. She's tough and smart and so resourceful, exactly the sort of character I love seeing in action, proving her competency over and over and getting herself out of a lot of really tough scrapes. Carter doesn't take shit from anyone and what I want most from fic about her is just a celebration of her as a person, and to maybe see her getting to relax for a moment, to do something fun, to bond with someone in a way that has meaning to her and will make her life a little bit brighter.

There's that one episode in season two where Carter and Shaw and Zoe go undercover and they're comparing their weapons of choice and it's a moment I adore for a lot of reasons. Shaw is ALSO one of my favorite characters in the series and one of the things that's always stuck with me most about her is when she's told that it isn't that she doesn't have feelings, it's just that they're dialed way way down. She seems to sincerely brighten over having something in common with carter, in being able to bond over their choices in firepower and their line of work, and I feel like this is the ideal starting point for a relationship between them.

If what I want from Carter and Shaw is them finding common ground, what I want from Carter and Zoe is characters getting out of their depth. My favorite thing about Zoe is her backstory, about how she wanted to be the person who always knew the right thing to say, who always had the right leverage. I love that Zoe has become this person and I'd love to see her leveraging it; I feel like she's someone who would be able to surprise Carter, never mind how jaded Carter has become. I'd love to see her putting her "always knowing the right thing to say" ability to use with Carter, to beautiful effect.

Optional Prompts:

For these ships, I struggle to give specific prompts. Mostly I have these tidbits from canon or aspects of the characters' personality that I think would be fun to see riffed on, and beyond that I'm open to a lot. I know that just in wanting to see fic about Carter, my requests are limiting; I'm open to "Carter doesn't die" canon-divergent AUs, if that's a thing you'd be excited to write.

-For Carter and Zoe: I really love the episode where Zoe and Reese go undercover as a couple in suburbia, and I'd kind of love to see something similar with Zoe and Carter? I love "fake relationship as cover" as a trope and love to see real feelings growing beneath the facade of fake emotions.

-Case fic where Carter and Zoe have to work together, in an environment where Zoe is at home but Carter is out of her depth. Carter struggling to keep on top of things in a situation she doesn't know how to operate in is just really interesting to me, and I love competent Zoe. Bonus points for formalwear.

-For Carter and Shaw: Anything that focuses on Shaw's dialed-down emotions. I'd love to see how she views what's important to her (Bear, for one thing) and to see her processing new things becoming important to her, especially where that "new thing" is Carter. Bonus points for Shaw POV just in general; I'd love to be the fly on her shoulder, seeing things through her perspective.

-Something focusing on the ways Shaw helped Carter, during her last-ditch mission to take down HR by whatever means necessary. I believe Reese initially thought some of Carter's actions were taken by Shaw, so I'd love to see a relationship between them set during this part of canon, full of all the fraught moments that no doubt would be happening.

-For Root and the Machine: Anything really focused on Root's devotion and fealty to the Machine, and the sorts of sacrifices she's willing to make. In fantasy AUs I love the concept of a knight sworn to their patron goddess and I think it might be neat to transplant that concept into POI's world, on top of Root and the Machine.

-In other series, "hacking" is often portrayed as something borderline magical. POI is far less guilty of this than most shows, but I'd kind of love to see fic that riffs off the idea of "techno-magic" in order to bring a fantasy element to the things Root does; I'd love to see what that looks like.

-I'll just say this straight out: Root really, definitely wants to fuck the Machine. This is what I believe. I'm down for like, good old-fashioned "Root masturbates while the Machine gives her directions" or whatever, but I'd also love to see Root pursuing this goal in the calm, calculated, patient way she seems to pursue all her goals. I'd love to see her working towards it as this ideal event, and to see the way Root believes such a thing should take place.

-On that note: I'm actually down for porn with any of the ships I've requested for POI. I think sex is a really fun vehicle through which to examine character relationships and the way people relate to each other, and exploring that with Shaw/Carter and Zoe/Carter would be pretty fun.

Crossover Ships

Ship Requested: Rei/Umi, Rei/Momoe, Rei/Miki, Rei/Momoi, Umi/Oe

Spoiler Policy: Since these characters come from like six different canons, a good rule of thumb is just "avoid manga spoilers." I'm either anime-only or behind on the manga for every one of these series that has a manga. (Love live, on the other hand, is fair game in every way, I've watched the anime and have played the game a ton.)

AU Policy: By the very nature of crossover pairings, anything you write for any of these ships is instantly an AU. That said, I'm equally open to "all sports series exist in the same world and these characters happen to meet" level AU, or alternate world, fantasy or science fiction or suspense kinds of AU. I adore AUs and if you're willing to write for one of my weird cross-fandom pairs, I will take literally anything you can give me.

Why I Love This Ship: I like to call this collection of ships "I really love Takashima Rei, and everyone else should, too." Half of my crossover ship request just boils down to "I want to see Rei being sweet on literally any of these women." I love that Rei generally presents herself as being cool and composed and wildly competent, but that she also has a silly, softer side, as evidenced by her behavior in Miyuki's backstory episode, where she first tries to recruit him for Seidou. I love that Rei is intensely passionate about baseball, and that's why I've chosen these characters to pair her with. Each of them would be able to share a different passion with Rei, and I love the possibilities inherent to that.

Then there's Umi and Oe, who I'd really love to see together because they're each the most reserved, traditional member of their cast, with an interest in traditional Japanese dance, or traditional Japanese poetry. I'd love to see them bonding over their similar interests and over what it's like to deal with much more hot-headed friends (Honoka for Umi, Chihaya for Oe). I feel like they'd really be able to relate to each other and be a positive force in the other's life.

Optional Prompts:

-The fic in which Umi comes to Oe's family's shop in hopes of purchasing kimono for an upcoming mu's event, and their relationship builds from there.

-Any fic in which Umi and Oe are involved in traditional pasttimes together. Oe coming to Umi's archery matches, or Umi coming to listen to Oe read once she becomes an accredited reader, or Umi and Oe participating in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony together (I really love tea ceremonies).

-Rei and Momokan: Bonding over baseball! Maybe they met through each trying to recruit the same player to their respective teams, or at a game when their teams play each other, or at a pro game they each went to, alone, just for fun. Getting drinks together. Being uniquely able to understand the other's life in a way someone not invovled with high school baseball just couldn't. I'd love a focus on both camaraderie and competition between them, on how someone can be both a comfort and a challenge to you at the same time.

-Rei and Momoi: Bonding over sports passion. I love the thought of Rei seeing a bit of herself when she was younger in Momoi, in the passion she has for basketball and the calculated way she's able to pick the sport apart when she gets in the zone about it. I'd love to see Rei supporting Momoi, perhaps a Momoi who's newly graduated and off to college and a bit at loose ends because of course she'll involve herself with the university basketball team, but it's different after three years with her high school friends. I'd love a focus on both the things they have in common and the different levels of experience they have with those things, on Rei's maturity and Momoi's quest for maturation.

-Rei and Miki: I really love the idea of Miki being able to surprise Rei? She's young and bright-eyed and wildly excitable about her sport, the sort of person whose mere presence brings warmth and happiness into people's lives. I'd love to see her teaching Rei things she wouldn't have thought about, perhaps about bikes but also just about Miki's outlook on the world, showing Rei different ways of looking at life, or at problems. Rei developing a fondness for this girl because she's fierce and determined and unstoppable, and because these are qualities that Rei can't help but admire in another human being.

-Rei and Umi: The thing I always latch onto with Umi is how strong she is for both Honoka and Kotori, but how there's a specific brittleness to her underneath that. She's great at being the voice of authority, the unwavering final say, the responsible, unflexible one when other people are goofing off. But she's also modest and reserved and introverted, and I just want someone to make her take a break, relax, enjoy some time for herself where she doesn't have to be on her guard and watching out for her friends. I'd like to see Rei being such a person for Umi, especially since I believe Rei would approach this in a different way than any of the girls from mu's. I'd love to see Rei taking Umi to a baseball game, or to watch the Seidou team practice, or encouraging her to just play catch for a bit, pushing her out of her comfort zone and into doing something just because it's fun, showing Umi new things she might not have tried on her own.

-Or: All of this is just a TL;DR about the points of commonality I see between these characters, the angles from which they'd be able to meet and build a relationship. These are the things I like about these characters and I'd love to see them explored, in a canon-esque environment or in an AU setting.

Anyway! That all said, please allow me to thank you one last time for writing for me. I know this is incredibly long and I kind of hope you only read the sections relevant to you, but thank you so much for doing that!

(And thank you for, presumably, bearing with me and my delay in getting this posted. While I was on vacation I got the email with my assignment less than 24 hours after signups closed and just, quietly yelled. Usually its great when exchanges get assignments out early, but I hadn't wanted to be so late in writing this!!)

Whatever you write for me, I'm sure that I will love it.