Dear Yuletide Author,
First and foremost, thank you for volunteering to write for one of my fandoms! Also, I am very sorry about the delay in posting this letter. I am the actual worst. Please feel free to disregard everything in this letter and write whatever you damn well please. That being said, I have tried to cover my general likes and dislikes, and provide a few (totally optional!) ideas.
I enjoy both shippy (slash, femslash, het, poly, whatever strikes your fancy) and gen fic of all flavors and genres, from unapologetic schmoop to grimdark, bad-ending, Terrible Things. In my signups, I may have mentioned ships I particularly like. Please feel free to write gen, or a totally different ship if that's what floats your boat. If you'd like to write it, go for it! I am happy to be convinced.
My approach to kink in fic is as follows: I'm in this for the characters. Show me the characters being themselves, and being into it, and I'm game for anything.
A note on characterization: My perceptions of characters are almost certainly not exactly the same as your perceptions of them. I know mine; please introduce me to yours! In cases where I have mentioned my oddly specific character feels, please do not feel obligated to incorporate them if they don't work for you.
I love worldbuilding, especially the mundane details of daily life (what is Character X wearing? Sleeping on? Eating for breakfast? What do the surroundings smell like? Tell me about the weather!).
I like complicated feelings and human (and other sentient being) complexity, and morality that isn't merely gray so much polychromatic. The one thing I absolutely cannot get on board with is embarrassment-based comedy.
I personally have no triggers; I urge you, however, to apply trigger warnings as appropriate for the health and safety of other readers.
CAVEAT: All of these are optional details which are optional. If there's something you were aching to write when you offered, please go for it. The story you want to write is the story I want to read.
The Railway Series – W. Awdry
I have massive childhood nostalgia for these books, and for the old television show with the wooden toys. I had all the major characters as Brio toy trains, and approximately a mile of track. I'm pretty sure that even persons of my generation who weren't half-Brit nerdbabies remember Thomas the Tank Engine fondly.
But consider, just consider a world in which vehicles are sentient. In retrospect, there's a rich vein of horrible implications inherent in the premise, which the books come closer to addressing than the kiddie-friendly TV-and-toy franchise. Consider obsolescence and the scrapyard, and the steam engines' antipathy toward the diesels takes on new dimensions. Or consider the hierarchy among the engines, the coaches, and the trucks, all of which are apparently self-aware and intelligent, but are constrained and defined by their specific functions.
Ruin my childhood, Yuletide Author. Go there. Get grimdark on Thomas and Friends.
Or don't. I would be 100% thrilled with lighthearted locomotive hijinks in the spirit of the original series, or an exploration of daily life on Sodor, or really anything at all.
(If you're reading this because you got assigned to me in one of my other fandoms and now you're thinking better of having offered that one, this is the series of children's books which gave the world Thomas the Tank Engine, and on which the Thomas and Friends media franchise is (loosely!) based. The books are unfortunately not available in ebook or pirated scan formats as far as I can tell, but the early BBC/PBS “Thomas & Friends” TV adaptations are closely based on the books, and are all over youtube. There also appears to be a devoted online fanbase, independent of the AO3/ff.n/LJ/DW/Tumblr Axis of Fandom, which has done a fair amount of fannish legwork documenting and discussing it.)
Girls und Panzer
I am super curious about the world of this series. School ships! Tankery! Bizarre, self-parodic patriotism! What the actual fuck? Got any theories?
I enjoy Miho's character arc, and how as she distances herself from her family's toxic approach to senshado, she heals from the stress and trauma of her previous experiences and comes to enjoy senshado for her own reasons. I also really enjoy her competence-- gotta love people being good at things!-- and how her leadership skills grow and develop naturally out of a combination of practical skill and genuine care and respect for her team.
I love Yukari's no-holds-barred nerdy enthusiasm for tanks. Her genuine enjoyment of and appreciation for military history (whatever that even means, in-universe), expressed in her massive arsenal of knowledge and skills, is a joy to me. Her squee makes me squee.
I also love her massive crush on Miho. I ship it, Yuletide Author. I ship it pretty hard. Miho/Yukari/Panzer IV OT3 <3
If that doesn't float your boat, that is fine, because there are literally no characters in this show who I don't want to read about. I will happily accept any combination of characters, canon or original or both.
(If you're reading this because you got assigned to me in one of my other fandoms and now you're thinking better of having offered that one, this is a heartwarming anime about high school girls who fight tank battles as a varsity sport. It's ok, though, nobody ever gets hurt, because Reasons. There are fourteen episodes and a few extras, and all of them can be viewed online for free. Try crunchyroll or hulu, or look for torrents. There are also multiple manga series which both retell the anime plotline from other characters' perspectives and expand on the universe and the main protag's backstory, but the anime is a lot more accessible to English-speakers.)
The Eternal Sky Trilogy – Elizabeth Bear
My love for this world knows no bounds. I want to roll around in it and rub it all over my face. Science wizards! Radioactive dragons! Shiny ponies! Tasty dinosaurs!
But even more than the setting, I love the characters. I will happily accept any subset of the characters I requested. I will also happily accept additional characters, both canon and original. Tell me about science wizards, or the Hasitani, or the shaman-rememberers, or anything at all, at any time and any place, but tell me a story about this wonderful world and the strong, complex, flawed, resolute ladies who live in it.
(If you're reading this because you got assigned to me in one of my other fandoms and now you're thinking better of having offered that one, this is a trilogy of fairly long epic fantasy novels, set in a world based on Central Asia. It has magic, intrigue, unspeakable evil, epic quests, and incredible worldbuilding, and engages deftly and sensitively with Epic Fantasy ™ tropes while remaining innovative, but mostly it has SO MANY AWESOME LADIES.)
Unusual Dragon Hoards
Dragons! Hoarding unusual stuff! What's not to love? Go wild, Author! Are dragons fannish about their hoards, or just acquisitive, or both? Tell me a story about some dragons who are super into their weird collections of stuff! Or a story about a world in which these dragons exist! There is literally no premise relating to this fandom that could possibly disappoint me, because DRAGONS. Like, seriously, anything from wacky hijinks to horror would delight me.
(If you're reading this because you got assigned to me in one of my other fandoms and now you're thinking better of having offered that one, this is a series of artworks depicting dragons who hoard unusual things. It's super great, and you should go and look at it right now.)