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Dear Yuletide Goat

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Nov. 2nd, 2008 | 08:10 pm
music: Teignmouth -- Patrick Wolf
posted by: msmcknittington in loathlylady

Dear people who are looking for fic,

This is not fic. This is my "dear goat" letter for Yuletide this year. Fic will return shortly, once I nut up. But if you want to comment and say, "Ooh, I totes agree with your analysis of 30 Rock's splendid bits!" or "Um, interesting thoughts but here is why Mad Men is the cat's meow," then by all means, go ahead. I cannot stop you!

Much love,
The person who is me

Dear Goat,

First of all, I want to thank you for signing up for this wonderful thing. I've never participated before, but I can only imagine that it's like writing in a pressure cooker. The amount of time given is just enough to procrastinate yourself into a hole. BUT STILL. I have never read a bad Yuletide fic, so I am absolutely positive that what you write will please me infinitely. No, really. It's all good. I can tell already, stranger.

Second of all, I know I wrote super-long prompts. But I'm wordy -- it's in my nature. They're just suggestions, so don't sweat it. Take 'em or leave 'em. Now here are lots more words!

About Me

My personal journal is here: msmcknittington. I don't know how much it will tell you about my fic preferences, seeing as I write mostly about knitting and costuming and gardening and farming and a dozen other things that are in no way related to fanfiction. The little bit of fanfiction I've written can all be found in this journal, loathlylady.

I mostly read historical romance novels fiction and fantasy and nonfiction and mysteries and Victorian lit and poetry and . . . OK, anything I can get my hands on. My favorite authors are Charlotte Bronte, Garrison Keillor, Garth Nix, Patricia Gaffney, Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Balogh, Jane Austen, A.S. Byatt . . . er, lots others. I do prefer character driven stories to plot driven stories. Stories that emphasize human relationships and the human experience over what's happening.

The Da Vinci Code probably exemplifies everything I find distasteful in a novel: bad history, bad writing, and the sort of surprises that aren't all that surprising.

I'm pretty liberal and agnostic, so don't worry about insulting me when it comes to politics or religion. I'm able to able to laugh at both the Democrats and the Republicans, thanks. I like my humor topical and witty and referential and maybe ironic, rather than . . . college frat boy humor? I'm not sure what to call the opposite. Erm, let's see, examples. I think 30 Rock is hilarious, but Dumb and Dumber got negative stars from me.

Things That Would Not Please Me

-- "punishing" kisses/alpha male-ism/rape -- Ick. Not sexy. Disturbing. I like characters with healthy relationships who enjoy each other, where the tension in the relationship come from something as drastic as one character raping the other. So, no non-con, either, please.
-- Slash. It just doesn't turn my crank. Nothing against anyone who enjoys that or gay people!
-- Vomit. Not a fan. Mentions of vomit are fine, but if you go describing it -- blergh. (I'll be really surprised if a graphic vomiting scene is central to anybody's fic, though.)
-- Characters acting out of character for the sake of the plot/situation. I like canon. The canon is good.

So, um, no stories about Jack Donaghy kissing Liz Lemon while she resists but really wants it, where upon being released, she then runs to her lesbian lover Gretchen and vomits all over the place. Don't do that and we'll be cool.

Things that would please me unduly
-- Fic that shows a balanced view. Not all fluffy happy, birds twittering in the trees. It's OK if the characters are happy, but I'd like for there to be some conflict and maybe a wee bit of angst. But not Heathcliff/Wuthering Heights type angst. Natural human conflict.
-- Characters that are in character.

About My Fandoms and Requests

30 Rock

This is, hands down, the best show on television today. And hardly anyone watches it! It's an outrage. It's so strange and smart and funny and Tina Fey may quite possibly exist on a diet of crack and weird. It has topical humor (politics, current events), it has meta humor (Conan O'Brien's many appearances, the nods to the product placement, the many other ways the fourth wall is acknowledged), and then it's got the truly bizarre stuff (Tracy Jordan's character, Kenneth's upbringing, Dr. Spaceman). The characters are all pretty weird and quirky, but they're also very human at the same time.

Most of the fanfic writers focus of Jack/Liz, and I'm OK with that. They are my 'ship of choice. But for Yuletide, I'd really like to see something focusing on the other characters in the series. Like Kenneth. OMG, Kenneth. A call from home from his mom, maybe? Some mentions of his mom's friend Ron? Or Grizz and Dot Com! How did they get together with Tracy in the first place? What is it about World Comm? Or Josh's life while his parents raised him as a girl! How did Jenna and Liz become such good friends? What about Pete's home life? His weird kid who's always rubbing himself on the carpet? Dr. Spaceman's medical training? Take one of the weird little throw off lines in the show and run with it.

It's important to me that any stories written for this are funny and snappy. No loads of introspection and self-analysis and angst (unless it's funny). I want weird characters in weird situations. The stranger the better.

This is really specific, but if you did some Grizz/Beth, and Grizz was having a daydream where he and Liz were characters in a soap opera or costume drama, and it was all very romantic and dramatic and crackfed, and then he woke up -- I would be rolling on the floor with happiness.

The 10th Kingdom

What I love about this miniseries is the mix of fairy tales and modern life. The way many things about our world are shadowed and twisted in the fairy tale world. The way the incredibly fanciful things in fairy tales exist and they're very humdrum and ordinary in the Nine Kingdoms. One of my favorite scenes is the one where Tony has a tooth pulled by the Tooth Fairy, and he offers him the watch, and the Tooth Fairy is all, "I know what a watch is. Is it a Rolex or one of those cheap imitations?" Oh, hee! Don't go underestimating the Tooth Fairy, Tony!

This is another fandom where everyone writes about two characters (Wolf and Virginia), but I want the other characters, dammit. I want Wendell adjusting to being the king of the Fourth Kingdom, or what he remembers of life before his parents died. I want to know how Acorn the Dwarf and Clayface the Goblin adjusted to life after they escaped from prison. I want to know what life is like in the Ninth Kingdom (that's the dwarves). I want to know what happened to the Peeps after their duplicity with the magic well was uncovered. What about Chancellor Griswold? What about Tony? Rupert? Take a minor character and give him/her backstory or continue their story.

It's OK if fic for this fandom is darker and not as funny. The canon deals with some pretty powerful issues (parental abandonment, murder). In fact, I might prefer it if it's more Brothers Grimm than Disney.

Fairy Tales

I have loved fairy tales my entire life. At first, it was because I was a little girl and omg! princesses! As I got older, it was because of the realization that not every fairy tale is written by Disney, and they can be twisted and dark and really powerful.

Here are the fairy tales I'm familiar enough with that having something written for them wouldn't confuse me: Beauty & the Beast, Bluebeard, Cinderella (both the Perrault version and the Donkeyskin/Meat without Salt [King Lear] variants), Hansel & Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack the Giant Killer, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, King Thrushbeard, Rapunzel, Snow White (& Rose Red), Sleeping Beauty, The Frog Prince, The Glass Mountain, The Goose Girl, The Little Mermaid, Tatterhood, Little Mermaid, Pied Piper, Princess & the Pea, Robber Bridegroom, Snow Queen, Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina.

The ones in bold are the ones I'd really like to see more of, but I will settle for almost anything. If you don't want to write any of those, then I'm sure I can find the story on the internet and read it. If you end up doing Red Riding Hood, then I'm OK with an older Red Riding Hood and a super-sexy wolf. ETA: OK, so I was re-reading this, and I want to be clear here. I'm not OK with bestiality. Uh, that's not what I intended. But if you play with the idea of the story as coming-of-age story, where the wolf is symbolic of Red Riding Hood's first sexual partner, that would AWESOME. See the Wikipedia article under Interpretations.

It doesn't have to be serious. If you want to do something silly and meta, like the princes getting together to drink and complain about their princesses or how tough it is being a fairy tale prince, or something similar, please feel free. I do enjoy Shrek and The 10th Kingdom after all.

If you end writing this request for me, then here's something I have always found useful for discussing fairy tales:

D.L. Ashliman's compilation of electronic texts on fairy/folk tales -- Lots of discussion about different types of fairy tales, grouped under subjects. For example, there's a listing of all fairy tales about bald men.

If you can make the prose lyrical and lush and poetic and beautiful, that would be amazing. I think fairy tales call for being more fanciful than, say, 30 Rock. (I'm not the only one who draws a line between fanciful and crackrific, am I?)

Mad Men

If 30 Rock is the best comedy on TV, then Mad Men is the best drama. It is just a fantastic show. The characters are all very believable and have their own conflicts and troubles and it questions women's roles in society and and and. I lurve it.

Again, I would love some fic about minor(ish) characters. I selected Joan Holloway, Pete Campbell, Peggy Olson, and Father Gill, but don't limit yourself to those characters. It's also not necessary for them all to appear in the same fic, and I'd actually prefer if they didn't interact with each other. If you want to show their childhoods or their futures that would be great.

Specific idea: Joan and Dr. Rape. Her revenge, how it affects their relationship -- I don't care. I just want Joan to feel angry or something. That was a really scary scene.

Another idea: What's Pete going to do with that rifle he had in the season finale? What's going through his head?

I hate Duck Phillips, so please don't include him. I think he's insufferable. Maybe if he got hit by a car? :/

It's OK if this is dark. I think it would be pretty challenging to write happy fic about this show, because it's a drama and the happiness never lasts.

One More Thing to Keep in Mind

These are just suggestions! Don't feel that you have to fulfill everything that I wrote. Down that path lies madness. It really all boils down to seeing something about minor characters, no slash, and no depictions of rape.

So, good luck! Thank you! I look forward to reading whatever you write -- even if there's puke in it.

Much love,

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