How's it goin'? Life treating you okay? I hope so, because as I said earlier, you are The Best, and deserve The Best from all things, most especially, life. I'm so excited that you've been assigned to me/have stumbled upon my letter completely by accident (maybe you aren't even my writer?) and that you are here, reading this, at this very moment! That's the magic of Yuletide!
So, okay. I'm going to get something out of the way real quick, because I know that writing a thing for somebody is always at least a little bit scary and wild (whether this is your first Yuletide or your third like me or your tenth): don't sweat it; I will love literally anything you write for me. I am the most disgustingly easy to please human on this planet. You could write 1k of any of the characters mentioned below sitting in a room, staring at a wall in silence and pondering the transience of life, and I'd be like, OH MY GOD, ART!!! BEAUTY!! THIS IS THE BEST YULETIDE OF ALL YULETIDES!!
So really, please don't stress yourself too much—I can't describe how happy I am that you're even here, let alone that you're going to write me a Thing. You're wonderful and anything you make will be wonderful. I'm obvs going to riff on some prompts/favorite tropes here, but those are OPTIONAL and meant to guide you if you're really stuck. Feel free to disregard them entirely and go where the inspo takes you. Think of them more as suggestions than demands, because I'll be thinking of them more as bonuses than guarantees. OPTIONAL DETAILS ARE OPTIONAL. We're here to have fun. Okay? Okay!
- I LOVE: any classic romance tropes (being locked in a room and forced to talk about things, fake-out make-outs, FAKE/PRETEND DATING LEADS TO FEELINGS most of all), (most) AUs, friends to lovers, character studies, ship studies, the 5 times + 1 time format, nonlinear narratives, almost kisses (more valuable than actual kisses), humor, angst with a happy ending, gen, hurt/comfort, after-action patch-ups, characters being protective of other characters (but not overbearing), snark and banter, found families, friendships, QP's, UST/URT with a healthy dose of mutual pining, friends supporting each other, friends conspiring to get their other friends together, oh, gosh, FRIENDS. I'm the most vanilla person alive so most of my ships are het, but I also like F/F in certain cases.
- I DO NOT LOVE: Non/dubcon, first-person POV, character bashing, hard kinks, character death, angst with no happy ending, unrequited love, college/high school AUs, underage characters doing the full and clinical do. All of my requested fandoms involve characters who are under 18, so just to be safe, I'm putting out a "no" on, like, full-on porn. Thank you!
This letter is... kind of long, whoops. Please don't be scared. You can honestly ignore anything beyond "notes" entirely if you want.
about: Morning Glories is a series written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Joe Eisma that has been touted as Runaways meets LOST. The influences it draws from the latter are especially apparent; it has a complex, sprawling plot and a massive mythos lurking beneath the surface, and it will always keep you guessing. Six teenagers from around the world, all born on the same day (May 4), are sent off to an elite boarding school called Morning Glory Academy, where things are not always what they seem and your parents are murdered by the end of the first issue. They scramble to band together and escape this place, but their attempts to do so turn up more questions than answers—about the school, about themselves, and about life itself. Maybe they're just some broken kids trying to get home—or maybe they're gods. Maybe they're even the bad guys. IT'S SO GOOD!! PLEASE CHECK IT OUT! Join me IN HELL! (It's pretty violent and gory at times, though, so I'd recommend being wary if that kind of stuff squicks you out.)
notes: I am happy with fic featuring any of the nominated characters, because I adore the hell out of the Glories and anything about them, especially, but not solely, as a unit. My biases are Hunter, Casey, Casey/Hunter, Casey and Jade, Hunter and Zoe—basically any combination that doesn't involve Ike—but you're free to run wild with any of the characters nominated this year. I'm really not a Jade/Ike fan, but if they have to be incidental/in the background, that's fine. Just, no Jade/Ike shipfic, please. I'm not really into Ike or Ike-centric stuff, either, but I love it when he's used for tangential comedy/as a source of wry commentary. I LOVE MG GEN, so don't stress too much about ships if that's not your thing! (Side note, though: Casey/Hunter is a ship that I like/love/breathe for but ha ha it's whatever, um.)
1) I know I requested "any" but Hunter is my favorite character in, like, anything ever. He doesn't have to be the focus, but if he is featured in some noticeable way, I will be so happy. I love that when things get completely insane, he's the guy referencing Futurama and wanting to help his friends above all else. I love that he just bottles up all the things that shake him up and doesn't confront them (anything exploring that would be so cool). Any kind of Hunter character study/Hunter-centric thing is guaranteed to delight me. Hunter introducing the Glories to the AV Club. Hunter making the Glories watch some of his favorite movies. Hunter finding out Zoe is alive and not knowing what to do or feel! Hunter and Zoe and anything at all! Hunter and Jade fic (they are my favorite underrated duo, especially after #25 onward)! Hunter and Ike as like accidental allies in any scenario (somebody said once that they are a buddy cop comedy waiting to happen and I just, that's so true)! Just, anything with Hunter and any of the other characters. He has such great chemistry with everybody. How does he do it?
2) Slice of life fic. They are at a horrible murder school and the plot is so wild; sometimes I just want to know about their classes and grades and if they need to help each other study and what their opinions are of the cafeteria food and if MGA has a drama department. You know? Give my children some chill times. Nothing interesting even has to happen. I just want them to have a good day. Plus, I'm always really into their sparse but earnest efforts to cobble together a sense of normalcy to help them cope with all of the horrible things happening around them, to make sure that they still have a chance to be kids and go on picnic dates and worry about midterms. I'd even accept mushy holiday fic, tbh—the more bittersweet, the better.
3) Hunter and Casey have to fake date for some reason. This is, like, my favorite scenario in the universe and it has never been written to my knowledge?? Hunter being so, so bad at it; the worst liar; agonizing over whether or not it's okay to hold her hand in public. All of the other Glories totally knowing, but using it as an opportunity to make life that much harder for them. Whatever you want to do with this, literally, at all, will be such a gift. Addendum: Hunter and Casey do anything even vaguely romantic, or even vaguely platonic, literally, at all. I'm so starved. Hunter and Casey get into an argument spanning weeks over their favorite movies. Hunter gets another chance to ask Casey to dance. Hunter gets hurt and Casey takes care of him. Hunter and Casey and their past lives and fate; anything examining Future Jade's "it never ends with those two" or Hodge's "would a little goddamn stability kill you?" Hunter reacting to hearing Casey scream that the Academy killed her parents during the debate and Casey pushing him away. Oh, god. Hunter and Casey!!!
5) Zoe + any of the nominated characters, in any context, really, but especially a context where they find out she's alive/she comes back and they freak out. We also never got Casey reacting to Zoe's "death," which feels like such a crime? So maybe something with that? Idk, Zoe is amazing. I'd love to see her interacting with the rest of the cast now that we know more about her.
6) Casey Blevins character study? Headcanon about Casey post-election since #49 probably won't come out until January? Casey Blevins anything, really. It's been so long since we've had some actual intimate time with her and with what's going through her head, so I'd love to see some quiet moments with Casey, where the debate and the school aren't raging at the forefront of her mind, where she gets to interact with some of the Glories like the OLD TIMES. (Especially Zoe.)
7) This is way too many prompts; I'm sorry. BUT: I'm a sucker for missing scenes and codas in this fandom, because I always want to know more about these things that have been hinted to happen but that we never saw, like Casey and Hunter talking about what happened to them during Woodrun, or Jade telling Casey about her mom's suicide, or Hunter finding Fortunato in the basement, or basically anything between Ike deciding to be Casey's campaign manager and the big party. There are so many! The plot moves so fast that it sometimes has to skim over the quieter character development moments, which is totally fine, but also, I live and breathe for those, so. Go crazy.
8) This one's a real long shot, but what the heck; I'll throw it in. Inception AU! I can't believe that sharing dreams is absolutely 100% canon as of #31 and this has never been done? Wow. Go crazy with who fits what role, but if you want ideas: Hunter as the wide-eyed gifted architect! Casey as the reticent but unstoppable mastermind, haunted by the shades of her dead parents! Jade as the sarcastic point man, Zoe as the brilliant chemist who really doesn't want to be here but has to tag along because these idiots don't know what they're doing, Hisao as the forger?? Jun is there as the tourist? They have to go into Ike's mind and reconcile his daddy issues?? WHO KNOWS??? I DON'T! BUT THIS IS MY FAVORITE HYPOTHETICAL MG AU EVER!
Or you can disregard these prompts entirely. MG is, like... the canon of my soul, so I'll be happy with just about anything. If it happens to involve any of my biases listed above, then that's just a bunch of bonus points. (Just, again; nothing Ike- or Ike/Jade-focused, please.) This is also the fandom where I'd be totally cool with darker fic, because come on. I don't have any real prompts for that, but if you want to write darker fic, sign me the fuck up. I'm a weenie, though, so the only thing I ask is that you avoid any permanent character death. I may have a more comprehensive list of darkfic prompts for this later; I haven't decided. But they will be entirely 100000% optional, because I know not everybody's about that.
about: Sakura Chiyo is sixteen years old. She just confessed to the guy she likes, and he gave her his autograph. Turns out he's actually a successful shoujo romance mangaka who misinterpreted her confession as a declaration of admiration of his work, and who scouts her out to help him do beta on his pages based on her artistic talents. A hilarious troupe of side characters parade through Sakura and Nozaki's story, each fumbling their way through the affairs of the heart in their own way—the princely actress Kashima Yuu and the grouchy drama club president she adores, Hori Masayuki; Mikoshiba Mikoto, Nozaki's blustering best friend and the inspiration for the easily flustered, tender-hearted heroine of his manga; Seo Yuzuki, Sakura's ill-behaved friend who loves nothing more than singing and tormenting the frail, earnest basketball player, Wakamatsu Hirotaka... what better use is there for this colorful cast, in Nozaki's eyes, than using them as inspiration for his popular manga?
notes: The year was 2014. In July, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun saved anime. In December, it saved me. I ADORE THIS SERIES. I ADORE EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER. I HAVE A TANUKI ON MY KEYS NOW. IT'S FINE. I requested Seo and Wakamatsu because they are honestly and truly my favorite pair in the story, but they have shockingly little fic (or at least non-AU fic) compared to the rest of the cast??? I mean, I can't be too bitter—every single GSNK ship is made of the purest gold, sent down from the heavens—but I'm just so into Seo and Wakamatsu's potential and their little contained story, that she's both the thing that keeps him up at night and the only thing that can help him sleep, that Lorelai is his goddess but he doesn't know, that Seo honestly might have just assumed they're dating and Wakamatsu knows nothing about it? GOD!!! I NEED MORE!!!
While I nominated Seo and Waka, I would be thrilled to see the entire ensemble up to hijinks, too; I love all of the nominated characters, so please feel free to feature them as much as you like! Also, I haven't read all of the manga, so I'm mostly going off of my knowledge of the anime! And just because this fandom has lots of AUs already, I'd like to request no AUs, please.
1) Wakamatsu's basketball team makes it to regionals (or whatever you would call that; I actually know nothing about basketball??) and the whole cast decides to go and support and cheer for him. Wakamatsu is losing more sleep than ever because he's so nervous, Seo sees this as a perfect opportunity to TRAIN WITH HIM, and Nozaki is like, this would be great for my manga. Homages to Lovely Complex entirely optional.
2) I love how tongue-in-cheek the series is about all of the shoujo romance tropes it so lovingly borrows from, so anything at all incorporating that (that the anime hasn't already touched on, which I realize is saying a lot) would be delightful. Maybe Seo and Waka kiss; one of them doesn't remember because they were sick or sleepy. Maybe Seo and Waka get locked in a closet or freezer. Maybe Seo and Waka decide to team up to get their friends together, or vice-versa.
3) Wakamatsu grappling with the fact that, one day, he suddenly just finds Seo really, really attractive. He's flung into crisis. What does he do? What does this mean? He scrambles to the rest of the cast for guidance.
4) We don't get to see much of Seo's views on Waka, or what's going through her head. Granted, that's probably because it is terrifying, but I'd still love to see it. So much of the camera is focused on Waka crying about this (perfect, amazing, stupendous) girl tormenting him that Seo's feelings and what Seo thinks or knows are just a big question mark. So I would love to see something about that!
Honestly, GSNK is one of those fandoms where I love everyone in every combination doing anything at all, so consider this final prompt a prompt to write whatever the hell you want about Seo and Wakamatsu's shenanigans and their big lovable cast of friends. I don't care! Anything you conjure up will fill me with unrepentant joy! Include whoever you want out of the nominated characters. My second preference to Seowaka is Hori/Kashima, so anything about them, anything at all, I will love. Or don't even write romance! Maybe Let's Love! gets an anime adaptation! I don't know! (This is me trying to be flexible: I basically just become excited and start babbling and it's confusing for everyone involved, but I do mean this sincerely: if you got matched to me and you don't want to write about Seo and Waka, you don't have to. I also love Mikoshiba, Hori/Kashima, and of course, Nozaki/Sakura.)
about: Originally published as the first in the Kotenbu series of light novels, Hyouka was adapted into an anime series in 2012. It tells the story of Oreki Houtarou, a quiet, deadpan energy conservationist whose withdrawn and inert ways are busted to pieces when he is urged by his sister to join the Classic Literature Club and meets its only other member, Chitanda Eru. Eru is energetic, tenacious, and bright; she loves people and is perpetually driven to help them, and she is fueled by an insatiable curiosity that can be set off by even the smallest of mysteries—she is, essentially, all the things that Houtarou is not. They are soon joined in the club by Houtarou's only friend, Fukube Satoshi, a cheerful self-proclaimed "database," and Ibara Mayaka, a grouchy aspiring mangaka. Over the course of a single school year, the four of them find mystery, excitement, heartbreak, and love in the most surprising places—and Houtarou breaks his rule of energy conservation again, and again, and again.
notes: Writer, do you want to know a secret? I love Hyouka so much. I'm a little sad that Mayaka and Satoshi weren't nominated this year, because the series is very much an ensemble affair, but I adore Houtarou and Eru, too, so I guess I'll live. I love the innocent, bittersweet ache to their later interactions, their unspoken like for each other, Houtarou's profound admiration of Eru and all that she is, all that she stands for, all that he thinks he can never touch, spring and happiness and caring about people and never having to be alone. I love how mutual that admiration is, how Eru is so constantly in awe of him, at first, and then eventually starts to give him that soft, affectionate smile that he never sees, because she thinks he's the most wonderful person in the world. I love the lengths to which Houtarou will go to make Eru happy, and I love the delight Eru takes in learning little things about Houtarou, no matter how incidental. I love how much she flusters and surprises him. You're special to ME, Oreki-san. She's not someone I can ignore. Don't speak to me about that ending scene, about that thing he almost said!! DON'T!!!!!
Romantic Houtarou/Eru is something I love and adore, especially, like, Houtarou/Eru that always gets closer and closer to being overt but ends up just shy of it; the Houtarou/Eru where they almost hold hands, where they gaze at each other for a moment too long, where the sun is setting and they've been in the empty club room for hours and he has to turn away so she won't see him smiling—where he thinks he's not good enough for her, not bright enough, not talented enough, and she thinks she would just be a burden, she and her family and her responsibilities and her energy; where they learn that they're both wrong. But if you want to write them platonically, that's okay, too! They do, after all, make the cutest friends. And even though Satoshi and Mayaka weren't nominated, it would be wonderful to see them, even if it's just in a minor/secondary role!
1) Based on episode 20: "What you do on New Year's, you repeat all year." The year that Houtarou and Eru keep getting inadvertently locked in places together.
2) Casefic! I love the influences that the anime takes so lovingly from classic mysteries, like the Christie 'verse, Sherlock Holmes, etc., so maybe something based on that? I'd love to see a Hyouka-lightened And Then There Were None or Murder on the Orient Express in the same vein as the culture festival arc's homage to The ABC Murders, if you need ideas, but going that route is absolutely not necessary—I love Hyouka's little mysteries that seem insignificant but actually wind up unveiling something important about the characters, even if the solution isn't all that breathtaking.
3) I love it when Eru and Houtarou's roles are reversed and he's the one being dogged and curious about something (usually something involving her). Maybe she misses a day of school and he's determined to figure out why. Maybe she's behaving a bit strangely one day and he wants to find the cause. Maybe she's sad, and he doesn't know why, and the bigger mystery at hand is why he cares so much.
If none of these appeal to you, don't worry about it. I love both Houtarou and Eru very, very dearly. I'd be thrilled to see anything you write about either of them. :')
about: Bad Machinery was launched in 2009 as a new part of the Bobbinsverse—a sprawling webcomic "franchise," if you will, first begun by a guy named John Allison with Bobbins way back in 1998. It is about kid detectives. Shy Jack, innocent Sonny, and crabby Linton comprise the "boys' team"; clever Shauna, rebellious Mildred, and... Lottie comprise the "girls' team." They solve mysteries (sometimes entirely of their own making) in their bizarre hometown of Tackleford, which plays host to everything from time-traveling bullies to the Polish equivalent of dementors. The series starts when they're in their first year of grammar school (so they're... 10 or 11 I think?) and as it's running now, they're... I actually have no idea. 15? I think Linton said he was 15 at the beginning of the current case. Er, anyway: it's ridiculously charming, at times poignant, and always delightful.
notes: Listen, my Tumblr bio has proclaimed for the past year that the hardest question you could ever conceivably ask me is who my favorite character is (of the main six) in Bad Machinery. I stand by that. I have no character preference whatsoever, because I adore all of them. I guess the only thing worth mentioning is that I'm still gunning for Jack/Shauna (he knew what was up with her re: the dad stuff and pretended he didn't care but he DID), and still will be when I am a decrepit old skeleton clinging to the rails of a ship that has long since capsized. People will put me on display. I also have a soft, tender spot in my withered heart for Sonny, and for Lottie/Linton.
1) Casefic! I miss the days when these kids actually solved mystery-type mysteries and not all this heavy stuff like the MYSTERY OF GROWING UP (but if it's not-so-subtly about that, that's okay, too). The mythos of Tackleford is just so absurd and expansive that I feel like you can do anything you want, but keeping with the theme of them dealing with odd mythological creatures such as selkies and the like would be so fun if you want to try that. If not, no worries. Go wild. I'd love to just see the two little groups team up again, or even to see the sort of unlikely team-ups we saw in Unwelcome Visitor, like Charlotte/Jack/Linton. Maybe the boys get their chance to time travel like the girls did in Forked Road? Maybe Lottie and Mildred's time in drama club extends to everyone suddenly because a bunch of the actors have fallen ill and they absolutely have to put this play on NEXT WEEKEND, can't you please help them out, Jack and Shauna and Linton and Sonny? Please?
2) Any shmoopy indie movie style thing about the summer everybody does things and becomes entangled with matters of the heart and builds something outrageous maybe? This is less an actual prompt and more just a feeling. I think we're returning to the root of my problem here: I want to see the main six being pals and getting into mischief as an ensemble again, whether it's over a case or over something as boring as life.
3) John Allison's scattered concept art for the "next generation" of Bad Machinery (Humphrey, Cecile, etc.) both intrigues and delights me. I'd love to see the mystery kids having to grapple with these younger gremlins now that they're coming into their own as Tackleford's next sleuths.
4) Sonny and Mildred are one of my favorite duos! Gosh! Mildred wasn't nominated this year, but I'd love to see these two getting into hijinks. Sonny's gentle and wary personality is always such a splendid foil to Mildred's bone-deep need for stylish insurrection, so anything about the two of them as a unit would be so lovely to see.
I recognize that Bad Machinery is kind of a tough fandom to write for since it's so niche and the canon, while I love it, is so all over the place, so I'm really giving you artistic license. I just love this series; I love the cast. Anything you write about any of them will be totally wonderful, I'm sure. :)
Yuletide writer, light of my life, stars and hearts will overtake my glimmering eyes no matter what you write for me; I can't stress that enough. The prompts are not mandatory; they're suggestions. I would love to see you run away with something of your own design just as much as I would to see you run away with something of mine. You have a great big beautiful brain and you will blow me away no matter what you choose to do. If you made it through this whole thing without bolting the other way, then I just want to say that I am so, so, so excited to see what you write for me, and so grateful to you for what you're about to do. I know that it'll make my month. You are a trooper, and you are amazing, and I wish you the happiest holiday season imaginable!
All my love,