greerwatson (greerwatson) wrote,

Dear Yuletide Author

greerwatson on AO3.

First, let me thank you for writing me a story in one of the fandoms we share. I'm excited about all of them. They're listed in alphabetical order, so as not to play favourites.


  • I love worldbuilding and character pieces—stories that explore more deeply—through backstory, or by elaborating the setting/history/culture or exploring people's motivations and personal interactions.

  • I prefer gen; but I'm not asking you to ignore canon relationships. However, I don't care for anything more than PG-13: explicit sexual detail is definitely a DNW for me. For pairings, my tastes are pretty vanilla.

  • I love casefic; and, more generally, I like stories that are canon-compliant. The general exception to this is ignoring canonical character death if you want. (There may be other specific exceptions.)

  • I'm okay with violence if necessary to the story; but not gore for the sake of gore. On the whole, I prefer not to have characters die in the story; but references to canonical deaths are okay. (I'm fine with having original characters murdered in casefic, and that sort of thing.)

  • I enjoy comedy—being able to recognize the ridiculous when it pops up; also wit and wordplay. Having said that, I totally leave it up to you whether you write a serious or comic story—or a serious story with comic interludes.

  • No second-person fic, please. My feelings on first person vary. As a rule, I don't care for it with TV fandoms; but it is definitely okay for book canons that were written that way by the author.


The Charioteer - Mary Renault (any nominated characters)
Quite a lot of fan fiction focuses on the canonical romances; so I'd prefer a story that's a bit different. Perhaps a gen school story or other backstory? Or war-time futurefic: e.g. Ralph's future in the Navy, Laurie after he's mustered out; life for the Straikes &/or Aunt Olive during the war; Andrew with the Friends Ambulance Corps; Alec or Sandy as army doctors (or any combination thereof)? Other possibilities: an insider's view of the Bridstow scene, Bunny getting his comeuppance (or Bunny's p.o.v.), a slice-of-life at the E.M.S. hospital; Ralph in a P.o.W. camp. Feel free to include other characters besides those nominated.

I prefer canon-compliant stories that are gen or character-driven mild romance. However, I don't like anything more than PG13: explicit sexual detail is definitely a DNW for me. I prefer not to have characters die in the story; but references to canonical deaths are okay. DNW second person fic.
The Charioteer is the last contemporary book written by Mary Renault before she shifted to writing historicals. What do I like about it? Well, it was one of the first stories I ever read that had explicitly gay characters in it, let alone a gay hero. The characters are eternally fascinating. In addition, it's set in Britain during World War II, which makes it an intriguing period piece.

The prompts I listed in the sign-up are only suggestions: I'm not wedded to any of them. If none hits the spot, then write me something different. On the whole, though, I'd prefer a story that is more-or-less gen—though that depends, of course, on what characters are included during which period in their lives. I certainly don't want canon ignored; it's more a question of focus. Backstory, missing scene, an exploration of characters often overlooked....

Total longshot (which I only mention since I know a lot of Renault fans are also into World War II history): Sandy Reid shares a surname with Pat Reid, who was Escape Officer at Colditz. This is obvious crossover material. (Cousins, maybe?)

I'd prefer something canon-compliant. Futurefic is okay; but I'd rather not have an AU.

Availability: The preferred edition is always the 1953 Longman (or its 1973 reprint); but the paperback is a lot more available, being in print. Also, Renault's books are found in most libraries.

There's a DW community, [community profile] renaultx, that is devoted to Mary Renault's novels. That might be a good place to find a beta.

Choir School series - William Mayne (Characters: Charles Unwin Sutton, Mr. Ardent, Dr. Sunderland.)
I'd like you to write about some incident at the school, similar to the sort of thing that Mayne used to flesh out his books. Preferably seen mostly from the point of view of one of the boys (since that's how he wrote), but not leaving out the adults, who are so much part of the series. Which boys to include is up to you: Trevithic is the only one nominated; but feel free to use any of the others Mayne mentioned, or an OC.

DNW any rating higher than PG. DNW AUs or crossovers. DNW first- or second-person fic.
Although each of the four choir school books has a plot, it's the incidents that really make up the story. Through them we get to know the characters; and, when I say "characters", I refer less to the protagonists (though Mayne does distinguish them) than I do to the many and varied people in the supporting cast, references to any of whom would be welcome, not just the ones who were nominated. Don't feel you need to work all the requested characters into one short story. Still, the more the merrier.

Suggestions.... Well, the setting is a school (with the inevitable lessons in various academic subjects); but, more specifically, it is a choir school. Music lessons and practice, as well as cathedral services, are a major part of the boys' lives. As well, it's a boarding school: you might perhaps write of personal rivalries, interactions between boys and staff outside school hours, hobbies, or holidays.

As these are boys whose voices have not yet broken, the oldest Choristers cannot be more than 13 or 14 (and the youngest Probationer is only about 7 or 8); so please keep to a PG rating.

Forever Knight (any nominated characters)
Casefic is always a treat; and I enjoy ensemble stories, both in terms of the interplay back at the station and also the detective story plots. If you prefer to focus on an individual, perhaps family/personal life/backstory (for police characters), or history/backstory (for the vampires, whether Nick's "family" or Vachon's crew). By all means include characters who weren't nominated if you want. I like all three seasons equally.

I prefer gen; but I'm not asking you to ignore canon relationships. However, I don't like anything more than PG-13: explicit sexual detail is definitely a DNW for me. I prefer not to have canon characters die in the story; but references to canonical deaths are okay. I'm not interested in AUs or crossovers. However, feel free to ignore "Last Knight" if you want. DNW first- or second-person fic.
If you've never heard of Forever Knight, it's a '90s TV series whose hero is a homicide detective on the Toronto police force who was turned into a vampire in 1228.

I prefer stories with a modern setting to focus on Nick as a detective, with vampires on the side, so to speak. I love the cop aspect of the series, both the interplay back at the station, and also the detective story plots. I like both Tracy and Schanke as Nick's partner, all the captains, and Natalie's role as pathologist. Of course, you may prefer to explore one or more specific characters. Both Tracy's and Schanke's families are familiar from hints, but largely unseen. Natalie's family is only slightly better explored; and we know little about the family life of any of the police captains.

You might, on the other hand, prefer to write something with an historical focus. LaCroix in the Dark Ages, before he brought the others across? Nick's years as a crusader? Janette managing on her own (since they did not always travel together as a family)? Yet another of Nick's attempts at a mortal career? Or any combination of them during an actual period of history, whether war or peace? There has been much speculation about LaCroix's motives in bringing Nick across: was it purely for Janette's sake, or also his own? I enjoy historical fiction, whether as the main focus of the story or as a flashback.

And then there are the vampires introduced in Season Three. The series only told their "origin stories": much remains unknown. What was Vachon's life as a conquistador, or shortly after he was brought across? How did he get together with Screed (or any other member of his crew)? What was it like for Screed as a carouche among vampires who prefer human blood? Indeed, what's it like being a carouche? And then there's Urs: what was her life like, say, during the flapper era, World War 2, or the Sixties? Or you might prefer to write about the lives of these characters since coming to Toronto—whether on their own, or as affected by Vachon's friendship with Tracy, their acquaintance with Nick, or events at the Raven.

Regarding one particular nominated vampire character: I'm a keen gardener, so I've a soft spot for Feliks Twist, even though I do my planting outdoors and he, being a vampire, has to use grow lights.

Basically, I'm pretty easy on what you write, though my preference is for gen. (If romance does sneak in, please stick to a PG13 rating at most.) Any other characters you want to include would be fine. I'd prefer something canon-compliant, but do feel free to ignore "Last Knight" if you want.

Availability: Most of the series is available on DVD, and some episodes are on YouTube. There's a Forever Knight wiki, if you just want to check details.

Hellspark - Janet Kagan (any nominated characters)
I love this book for Lassti, linguistics, the cast (especially Maggy!), and the detective plot. So as much of that as you can get into the story the better. A missing scene? Something aboard ship? A new case for the new judge? Or, if you like, something about the survey team after Tocohl leaves Lassti, particularly Buntec and Edge-of-Dark's dawning friendship (flowers and food!). I love all the characters, including those who weren't nominated; so please feel free to include any of them.

Canon-compliant gen, please. DNW anything more than PG13. I prefer not to have canon characters die in the story; but references to canonical deaths are okay. DNW first- or second-person fic.
If you don't know Hellspark, it's set in a far-future where humanity has spread out over many federated planets, each of which has evolved its own cultures and language. The "science" in the SF is Linguistics: the heroine comes from a polyglot people who serve as translators, traders, and judges. When murder is committed among a team of scientists evaluating a newly discovered planet, she is called in to investigate—not just to find the killer, but to determine whether the native species is sentient.

Suggestions, suggestions....

Well, I don't think it's reasonable to ask you to write a sequel. I'd love a sequel, of course; and it's not as though people have never written novels for gift exchanges. (I did myself once. Nearly killed me.) However, it's not really a practical request. *g*

I love casefic. Some other mystery for now-Byworld Judge Tocohl Susumo to tackle would be a joy. We saw one other world in some detail, at the beginning of the novel, so—if perchance some other year she were back there and some crime were committed—perhaps she might be enlisted to solve it. If you want something less plotty, I'd love a missing scene, either on board ship or on Lassti.

The survey team still have much to do after the end of the story. Buntec and Edge-of-Dark are always fun. I particularly enjoyed the flowers & food theme they have going, and the way their original antagonism shifts toward friendship. However, do feel free to use any or all of the other characters if you want: the other survey members, Tocohl's mother, sprookjes.... Any of the characters, in fact. They all have their charms.

Really, anything would be wonderful.

Availability: link

Prehistoric Park
(Characters: Bob (Prehistoric Park), Nigel Marven, Suzanne (Prehistoric Park))
Dinosaurs! Or mammoths, trilobites, or what have you. (Your choice of time period, but I'd prefer something as-yet-unvisited.) Ideally, something along the lines of a new episode—well, a single time trip plus a bit back at the park.

Canon-compliant gen, please. I don't like anything more than PG13: explicit sexual detail is definitely a DNW. I prefer not to have canon characters die in the story; but references to canonical deaths are okay. DNW first- or second-person fic. DNW any screenplay or transcription format.
Wikipedia describes this six-part series as a "mockumentary", which is fair enough. It is about a team of scientists who use a time portal to bring back extinct animals to a huge park where they hope, in time, to breed them. Each episode focuses on a different period, to which they go in search of some particular species, though they do tend to bring back more than they originally intended. Intercut with their trips to the past are scenes in the present: either problems coping with the new arrivals, or follow-ups about animals featured in previous episodes.

Why do I love it? Well, the time travel adventures are fun; the notion of saving these fascinating species from extinction is appealing; and the human touches bring it all to life, especially the scenes back at the park. (Also the animation was brilliant; but that's not exactly relevant to your writing me a story.)

Obviously, what I'd really like is the resurrection of the series and six more episodes. Realistically, you're writing me a Yuletide fic, so I couldn't expect more than a single time trip plus a bit back at the park. Nigel is the one who takes a team through the portal. However, I've also asked for Bob and Suzanne, since they're the ones who primarily deal with the animals at the park. Your choice of time period, of course; but, if you can manage it, I would prefer an era that is as-yet-unvisited.

Availability: The series is available on DVD as a boxed set, and the episodes are often up on YouTube in their entirety. (As usual, this is bound to vary depending on where you live. Google is your friend.)

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Tags: fan fiction, yuletide

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