I hope you don't mind long, detailed letters, because, um, that's what this will probably end up being. I've been stalking Yuletide for about two to three years now, and have written countless Yuletide letters in my head, but since this is my first Yuletide, this is also the first time all those words have somewhere to spill out, so. Hopefully you like long letters!
But first, I must stress that I'm a firm believer in optional details being optional. I just know that I'll love whatever you write. Why? Because every fandom I request, I do so because I love them so very much and am dying to see fic for them. You, my dear writer? Are the bringer of that fic. How could I not love it?
Anyways, to make things a little easier for you, here's some navigational links. That way, you don't have to wade through the fandoms you don't know to find the information about the ones you do.
The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett | The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton | Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
|subtle romances, gen, character studies, friendship, happy endings, exploring the relationships between characters, plot||sex of any kind, graphic violence, characters being humiliated, unhappy endings (at least in the context of this fest/these fandoms), awful grammar, crack!fic|
I do have to ask that you take the no sex of any kind/graphic violence seriously. One I just can't go for unless it has a novel-sized amount of build-up and even then it falls flat for me far too often, and the other just had the potential to squick me out really badly. UST and brief mentions of violent acts (as appropriate with the canon), though, is more than fine. Thank you for your consideration!
Character(s) Sam Spade, Effie Perine
Prompt Anything about these two would make me happy! Their relationship is deliciously subtle, and I'm convinced that Effie's the only woman Spade really cares about. Anything that makes that clear (preferably without Spade actually saying so) would be lovely and wonderful. Subtlety in romance is love.
I read The Maltese Falcon for one of my classes last year, and, quite honestly, it's a book I would have never picked up on my own. I'm a quick reader, so it was difficult for me to read it along the same pace at the class, so when we were about halfway through it, I gave in and finished it up. And honestly? At first, I wasn't so impressed. Yet as I kept on rereading portions (due to our readings in class), I slowly began to fall in love with both the prose and the characters. There's this subtlety in every aspect of this novel that's just absolutely delicious, and by the time we'd read our last chapter and written our last essay, I was heads over heels in love.
The relationship between Spade and Effie in particular caught my attention. It doesn't take a genius to realize that Spade doesn't really care about most women. He sleeps with them, he (perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not) convinces them that he loves them, but in the end, he doesn't care about them. Look at Iva. Look at Brigid. In fact, Spade doesn't seem to care about most people, period. Just look at how he treats nearly everyone in the entire novel!
But Effie... she's different. Of all the characters in the novel, she's the only one who's really innocent, in both character and action. And Spade... his relationship with her is different as well. He trusts her. He asks her for her opinion. He genuinely seems to care about her. And she's the only person whose disapproval seems to affect him. I— I just have so many feelings about them, and I don't know any other way of describing it other than quoting my favorite scene between them from the actual novel.
He nodded. "Your Sam's a detective." He looked sharply at her. He put his arm around her waist, his hand on her hip. "She did kill Miles, angel," he said gently, "offhand, like that." He snapped the fingers of his other hand.(p. 186; The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett)
She escaped from his arm as if it had hurt her. "Don't, please, don't touch me," she said brokenly. "I know— I know you're right. You're right. But don't touch me now— not now."
Spade's face became as pale as his collar.
Just look at that perfection. Spade's reaction is so subtle, but it's the most dramatic reaction that any woman— that any character, really— has ever got from him. Yes, right before this, he's not very careful in dropping the news to her, but once she starts to react strangely, so does he. He speaks to her gently. Do you know how my fangirling heart felt?
So, yes, like I said in my prompt, I am convinced that Effie is the only woman Spade truly cares about. In fact, she may very well be the only person he cares about, for all we know.
tl;dr: I love Effie, I love her relationship with Sam Spade, and I ship them like a madwoman.
Also, Spade's weird moral code? Totally awesome.
Character(s) Eliza Makepeace
Prompt I'd really like to see something set during Eliza's 'golden years' with Rose, before everything messed up. Or, maybe an AU where she got away from Mansell/somehow survived, but couldn't find Nell until Nell found her years later when searching. Even just a gen character study would be fun. Please no Nathaniel/Eliza, although Rose/Eliza is more than fine.
I got this book as an Easter present from my mom about two years back— she read it, I didn't. Recently, I finally sat down to read it— and fell heads over heels in love. Seriously. How did it take me this long to read a book that's this fantastic?
Anyways, I actually didn't like Eliza too much at first... until we started getting scenes from her point of view, whereupon I totally fell in love with her. She's such a wonderful character, and her whole story just breaks my heart. Only that epilogue with Nell kept me from screaming at the injustice of what happened to her. And don't even get me started on her relationship with Rose. Her utter devotion to her just hits so many of my 'omgthisislovelyandwonderfulilovethis!' spots, you have no idea. As awful as the rest of her life was, I'm convinced that those years she spent as Rose's friend, before Nathaniel came into the picture, were the best years of her life— her 'golden years', so to speak.
I can see her relationship with Rose anyway you chose to spin it— sisterly, friendship-y, romantic— whatever. Anything with those two girls being happy and enjoying themselves would be lovely. If you don't want to write about Rose, an AU that fixes the tragedy of Eliza would be great too! I really love how the novel played out, and I admit it wouldn't work as well had it played out any differently... but it would be nice to see Eliza get a happy ending, even if it's fifty years later.
Of course, I only requested Eliza, and a fic with just her would be equally loved. I can't think of any scenarios on the top of my head, but I'm confident that whatever you come up with, it'll be wonderful.
And, finally, if you're interested in a fic about someone other than Eliza... I admit that Linus piques my interest as well. It'd be interesting to see something from his younger years with Georgiana, before it all went sour.
I do ask, though, that whatever you write... don't make it Nathaniel/Eliza. I wasn't very fond of him in general, and of that relationship in particular. Other than that, all things Eliza is a-go!
Character(s) Henry Crawford
Prompt Anything about Henry! I have a particular fondness for redemption!fic. I also really like Henry/Fanny (they could improve one another so much!), but I'm fine without it as well. If you're comfortable with it, a crossover with Northanger Abbey where he meets Catherine would be awesome, although I don't want Henry Tilney/Catherine Morland to be broken up. Oh, and no incest please. I don't really want to have sex or graphic violence in it either. For more information, look at my Yuletide letter!
Like many Jane Austen fans, Mansfield Park is my least favorite Jane Austen novel. Unlike many other Jane Austen fans, however, it's my favorite to read fanfiction about. Why? Because, compared to her other novels, Mansfield Park had so much more untapped potential! Seriously, the characters are flawed in such a lovely way, and things could have gone different so very easily! It's also unique in that it's the only one where I 1.) like the 'villain' choice of romantic interest and 2.) actually prefer it to the main pairing.
Henry Crawford just fascinates me, period. Of all of Jane Austen's villains, he seems to have the most potential for redemption, and, indeed, he did seem to be heading down that path before that unfortunate incident with Maria. I mentioned that I like Henry/Fanny, and that's definitely true. Unlike many people, I'm quite fond of Fanny... but that's not why I ship it. They're both flawed characters, in my opinion. Henry's imperfections are easily seen, and Fanny... well, she's quite judgmental, I think. She does have the ability to help Henry become a better person— we saw a little of that in the novel— and I think he'd be quite good for her as well.
But if you're not a fan, that's more than fine. I do really, really like the idea of seeing Henry redeemed, though. Of course, if you're not comfortable with writing that, that's fine as well— I love Henry, period, no matter what he's like— but it is something that I really love.
If you're familiar with Northanger Abbey (also by Jane Austen), and are comfortable with writing it, I'd definitely be interested in a crossover. Northanger Abbey is actually my favorite Jane Austen novel (and has my favorite canon pairing). When I first read Mansfield Park, however, I couldn't help but notice that, despite being complete opposites, Henry Crawford and Catherine Morland did have one thing in common... both made a serious error in regards to the one that they cared about. Henry's mistake was just more permanent. Every since then I've wanted to read a fic about the two of them meeting. If you could tie that in with redemption and/or Henry/Fanny, that would be even more fantastic.
But, in the end, I'm fine with whatever you choose to write! I just ask two things of you:
1. If you choose the crossover option, please don't break up Henry Tilney/Catherine Morland. Like I said, they're my favorite Austen couple.
2. Please don't pair Henry/Mary up romantically. While I'm fine with incest pairings, that's one that just doesn't work for me.
And we've reached the end of this (ridiculously long) letter! Remember, I wrote all of this to open up for you the options that you have, not constrict you. This is all optional. And have fun! That's the important thing, after all.
the recipient of your lovely story