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[personal profile] measured_words
Dear Amazing Yuletide Author:

Thanks, first of all, for writing! That is really the most important thing, and I will be delighted with whatever I wind up getting. I am scamming most of this from my last year’s letter (including this line!), so hopefully it will retain some amount of coherency.

So first of all.... Generally speaking, I like stories that tell me a little bit more about the characters or the world they live in. I like stories with plot - with adventure, intrigue, and wacky hijinks. I also like stories that are more focused on character exploration – I don't need action if I have interesting introspection. I like both insider and outsider PoV stuff, and I feel like it is perfectly legit to write a story about a character that isn't from their perspective. I enjoy stories that are very emotionally intense, whether that means they are spilling over with ~feels~ or dark and unrelenting in tone – I enjoy horror, especially psychological horror, but also feel-good fluff.

I like porn, but I do not require it. If you have a preference for or against in whatever you wind up writing, knock yourself out, I will appreciate it. If you include porn, I prefer it to be somehow relevant to the story – either it develops character relationships, or is vital to some zany caper or what have you. I’m not a big fan of pwp, though I think porn can certainly *be* the main action, so to speak, as long as it is showing me something new about characters or their relationship. I'm really hard to squick, so don't be afraid to show me your kinks! More than anything, when it comes (heh) to porn I want to be able to believe that the sex I'm reading is in character for whoever I'm reading about – not necessarily that it is something they want, but that the reactions I'm reading are true to whoever is having them, if that makes any sense.

If you are looking to find out more about me, I have a more mundane and fairly neglected lj/dw over at [personal profile] elanya, and I am I am often online in the yuletide chat (which you can find out how to access here), either as Lanabout, hippo-Lan, or some other similar configuration of Lan- somethingorother. I am also Measured_Words on AO3 :)

On to the specifics! Please note that these are in no meaningful order. Also, Optional Details are Optional - I hope these will give you some ideas if you need them, and some helpful insights into what I love about the canons and the characters, but if you have other ideas I haven't thought of feel free to run with them as well :D

Hadestown - Anais Mitchell
Any - nominated: Hades, Persephone, Orpheus, Eurydice

Hadestown is a folk opera retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. The whole thing is up on youtube - check out the playlist above!

I would seriously love to see more fic about any of the relationships in the musical, but I admit that I am most interested in things that cut through or across the relationship lines, like Hades/Eurydice, or Persephone/Orpheus, or even Persephone/Eurydice and Hades/Orpheus! I am happy whether those relationships are shippy or gen, and whatever rating you want to make them, but I would like to see more of those dynamics explored, especially in relation to how they affect what happens in the story as presented in the musical, or after it.

Hades/Eurydice is heavily hinted, at the very least, and I'd like to see exactly what he has in mind for his little songbird once she comes to him in desperation - or what happens between them at the end of things. Persephone/Orpheus interests me because they both strike me as fairly worldly in ways that the other characters don't approach. Maybe they've encountered each other before? I also like the idea of Orpheus, once he is in Hadestown, being willing to do whatever is necessary to find Eurydice, including seducing/being seduced by Persephone. She seems very sympathetic to him in her later conversation with Hades, too, and I would love to see anything that expounds on their interaction once he stumbles into her bar. Or - since Persephone does leave Hadestown - what if she ever encounters Orpheus later?

With Hades/Orpheus, there is of course an excellent hatesex opportunity, and more of the same 'willing to do whatever it takes' attitude: for Orpheus, it's getting Eurydice back, and for Hades, it's maintaining his hard earned control. With Persephone/Eurydice, I think there is more room for a mentorship, or protective or sympathetic relationship. I'm sure Eurydice isn't the first little 'Songbird' Hades has brought home, and I'd love to see someone's take on what Persephone thinks of that!

Getting back to the main couples, I love the relationship between Hades and Persephone in this, because this Persephone is so much more mature. They clearly care for each other but they both clearly have their own things going on and have managed to come to some kind of arrangement. Does Hades really not know what she is up to? If he does know, why does he indulge her? How exactly has their relationship changed, and how do they both feel about that - really this could apply to any part of Canon. What are things like between them after Hades refuses to let Eurydice go?

With Eurydice/Orpheus, I love how naive she is so comparatively - she asks the more practical questions, but she trust his answers and his general devil-may-care attitude. Despite this attitude, he's very cynical about the world. How did they get together? Feel free to expand about any of the parts of canon, especially the long trek home and how and why everything went wrong there, and what it says about their relationship. What exactly is it that Orpheus can't bring himself to trust in the end - is it her? is it Hades? Something else?

I would absolutely be delighted with fic that focuses on any one of the characters, outside of a relationship as well, including people's lives outside of Hadestown, before or after canon where applicable. Some things I generally love about them: Persephone's maturity and independence; Hades' belief in himself as some kind of underdog who has clawed himself up from nothing and knows what is best, and his willingness to do whatever he sees necessary to maintain his power; the dichotomy of Orpheus's worldliness and his lack of concern for mundane problems; Eurydice's naive hopefulness contrasted with her desperation and how what she encounters/endures in Hadestown changes her (or not). I like the other characters as well, such as Hermes and the Fates, so feel free to use them as well if you are inspired!

The Shadow (Pulps)
Any - nominated: Kent "The Shadow" Allard, Harry Vincent, Margo Lane, Roy Tam

I love The Shadow in pretty much all its iterations. For anyone not already familiar with him, or his extended franchise, the easiest shorthand is to say that he is a pulp/radio drama detective from the 30's, who is also the original Batman. I love it unironically but I recognize that it is a pretty problematic love, especially with regards to class and racial issues. I find that aspect of it pretty fascinating in its own right I suppose, as a reflection of (perceived?) stereotypes and attitudes of its writer(s) and intended audience, but that's probably not super relevant to writing a yulefic, which is what we are here for, yess :D I am on board with taking it straight, I am on board with poking at some of the canon's issues, I am on board with some combination of the two, however you want to run with it!

I didn’t specify any characters in my request, but I did nominate some that I think might be interesting to play with. If you have other favourites, feel free to use them instead - I don't really want to be limiting here! Feel free to use other agents, and to include original characters as well. I do like action-y stories, which would work well here, but I also like stories about how background people are affected by The Shadow, directly or indirectly. You don’t even to use The Shadow himself if you don’t want to, but feel free to do so if that’s your desire! I also think it would be cool to read a story that is more from the point of view of some of the criminal elements. This is probably the fandom on the list where my ‘porn must contribute to the story or characters’ guideline is something I feel most strongly about. If it is integral that, say, Harry has to bang someone to get info, or you want to look at the sexual dynamics between Margot, the real Lamont, and The Shadow (or between the Shadow and any of his agents), that would also be awesome.

As I said, I nommed specific characters because I thought they might be fun to play with, so I figure I should explain why! I'll start with The Shadow! A.k.a. Lamont Cranston a.k.a. Kent Allard, probably. I love the ridiculous convoluted secret identity, and the other false identities, and that even though so much of the story is told from the perspective of the Shadow, we don't always really know what is going on in his head. I would love to take a closer peek in there, and to get a better understanding of what drives him, what his relationships with his agents mean to him, and what kid of toll all the secrecy takes on him.

I nommed Harry because he is basically the original Gary Stu - the reader insert character. He's his generation's version of a millennial - a kid who would have had much better prospects if it weren't for The Depression. And The Shadow comes and gives him this glamourous, exciting life of adventure and intrigue! He now has money and luxury, he just has to be on call, all the time. It sounds really cool! It probably is really cool, mostly! On the other hand, it is also dangerous and sometimes dull, and you have to lie all the time to everyone you meet and are basically not allowed to have much of your own life. I'd love to get a look at what he thinks of his life, and his attitude, and also just see him go on adventures :D

Margo Lane in the pulps is interesting because she is one of the few female agents we see (though not the only one!). Early Margo is characterized as not super competent (quite possibly because the author was pressured to include her at all), though she eventually finds her place. I'm more interested in what she can do than what she can't, but I also don't mind her being rescued as long as she has something to contribute of her own. I think as a woman she definitely has access to some things (places, people, etc) the men do not, and a story where that is exploited would be neat.

Roy Tam is included because he has a neat relationship with the Shadow (he is one of the few people who know that he is Lamont Cranston, but also that he is not really Lamont Cranston...) and he is sort of more a contact than a straight up agent. I'd love to see more about their relationship, as I don't think we know how they met and got involved with each other, or why he is particularly deserving of trust and friendship (!) from the Shadow. Tam has a lot of his own stuff going on as well that could be interesting, as he is supposed to be a very prominent person in the Chinese community. I would love to see his perspective on some of the things going on in Chinatown that the Shadow and his agents investigate. He is an interesting character, basically acting as a bridge between a lot of different things, and anything exploring the various tensions he represents would be really cool.

True Detective Season Two.
Requested Characters: Antigone "Ani" Bezzarides, Jordan Semyon, Nails

So, this show. It is basically a very character-focused noir-style mystery, where all the people are bad and all the lines are blurred, but the main characters have a sense of justice even if they are otherwise terrible people. I felt it wasn't as strong as the first season, but still engaging. It was definitely the characters and relationships that kept me interested, though the mystery was fairly interesting and complex.

One of my favourite parts was Frank and Jordan's relationship, and the way they stuck together and communicated, eventually. But really I loved Jordan - she was dedicated and competent and loyal. She wasn't always honest, but she felt like a very real person to me, who wanted to cling to hope as long as she could, until it was clear that it was only making things worse. She put effort into the relationship and she demanded effort and respect in return. And she got it. I think she knew at the end that Frank was sincere that he intended to see her again, but knew there was a chance it wouldn't happen. I liked Ani the best of the main characters. She's interestingly complicated and flawed, but not to the point where I found it hard to empathize with her. She had interesting relationships with her family and coworkers, and with Ray (and Paul) at the end. She had coping mechanisms, if not super healthy ones, for her various issues. Nails, on the other hand, is not a character we know much about - we get told how he became one of Frank's crew, and we know he is extremely trusted and capable of some pretty nasty things. We know that he keeps his promise to Frank, and stays with Jordan indefinitely.

And then the baby... Ani was certainly not planning on having a child with Ray, but she seems quite attached in the scene we see. Jordan, of course, was desperate to have a child with Frank, but it is strongly implied she had several abortions in the past (they never specify, and she could have had other surgeries that would impact her fertility, and if you have some investment in exploring that, have at!) the relationship we see at the end shows both women caring for the kid - I'm gonna say co-parenting. And then they meet up with Nails and slip off together into some huge party.

I expect people who have seen the show can see where I'm going with this. I found the ending generally satisfying, but I would love to know more about these three survivors. They seem to be a complete and trusting unit, capable of planning and surviving and relying on each other. With a baby! I really really want to know more about the relationship dynamics between them. What was Jordan's reaction to Ani (a cop she'd never met)? How did she cope with Frank's death? What was Ani's reaction to finding out she was pregnant? How is she processing everything that happened to her? What is Nails' relationship to them like? Is this all a matter of duty? Is he close with either of them? He clearly knows Jordan quite well, but we don't know much about their relationship. What gets them to trust each other? Do they stay together as soon as they meet up, or does something else draw them back together? How do they all work together? Does Nails quietly defer to the two women, or does he have input into things? Do they have philosophical/moral/ethical disagreements? How does Ani cope with living on the wrong side of the law?

I didn't nominate the baby, because as a character the baby is not very interesting. I am way more interested in the effect he has on the other characters, and the challenges he presents, on an emotional, physical and logistical level for people, strangers really, on the run. If the kid/pregnancy stuff doesn't interest you, obviously you don't need to deal with it - I'd be quite happy for something with the three of them that happens before the baby is even a known issue, and while they are still figuring each other out.

I would be happy with any kind of relationships here, from gen to OT3. I could easily ship any and all of them! While I am interested in the relationships, I'm also interested in their experiences - how do they make it in Venezuela? Does Frank have useful contacts? Or do Felicia's people help them? At what cost? (Feel free to include Felicia too if you like the idea, she is super cool!) As I mentioned above, I'm sure baby-related logistics are going to be complicated! What is life like on the run? Or do they have a safe space to operate from? Quiet honestly anything you can write me about these characters together would be super awesome!
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