bakerloo: (L. of G. | It shouldn't happen to a vet)
[personal profile] bakerloo
My dear Yuletide angel,

Is it that magical time of the year already? I can tell you, I’m so excited I could bite a grape. I hope this letter finds you in a similar state, although I do understand that the thought of having to write a Yuletide gift for someone can be stressful too. Try not to fret! I assure you, I’m a simple-minded thing and very easy to please.

If you’d like some idea of what I like to see in a story, or just a little prompting to hopefully get you started, read ahead. If you already have an idea you’d like to try out, please feel free to toddle off and write that! This should be fun for the writer, and I’m sure I’ll love reading anything that has been a pleasure to write.

Most importantly (and, really, this should have come first): Thank you, as-yet-unknown-Yuletide-participant. The fact that you’re taking the time to write in one of the following tiny fandoms just warms my heart. :)

And now a little bit of babble about the fandoms and fan-fiction in general…

A few personal preferences:
- I like fic of all kinds, romantic or gen. As will probably become apparent in the fandom talk, I will ‘ship anything and everything. Slash, femslash, het, threesomes, moresomes… I like fic about platonic friendships too, and fic where the romance/friendship is kept ambiguous.
- I think AUs and cross-overs are great, as are cross-over pairings.
- I’d prefer it if you avoided rape scenes or anything sexual involving underage characters. Those are the only things I can think of that I really would not want to read.

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”

I read this book for the first time earlier this year, just before the film came out… I admit, I was swayed into reading it by Ben Whishaw and, yes, Robert Frobisher is extremely relevant to my interests. As is Rufus Sixsmith, I hasten to add. But there’s so much to love within this book. It’s not just the fun of having a selection of genres bound by one central conceit (which I so wish I’d thought of first), the ideals of it really appeal to me. I think maybe that aspect could be too broadly moralistic or overly simple to some people, but I kind of like the big metaphysical ideas - and the importance of a single life, one that can always be redeemed. In particular, Sonmi-451 and Adam Ewing’s stories really move me.

I don’t mind which chapters of the book you choose to focus on. I’d say I’m less interested in ‘The Ghastly Ordeal’, ‘Half-Lives’ and ‘Sloosha’s Crossing’. But having said that, Jim Broadbent’s turn as Timothy Cavendish in the film was wonderful, I really like the character of Luisa Rey, and I think world-building for ‘Sloosha’s Crossing’ would be ace. So obviously I like aspects of all the stories!

I know it’s a relatively small part of the book to draw on, but it would be really nice to read something about the friendship between Sonmi-451 and Yoona-939. Or Autua and Adam Ewing, for that matter. What becomes of the two of them after the events of the book - and what do they accomplish? I like to think they live separate lives that happily converge every so often but, of course, your idea is as good as mine.

You can visit either end of the emotional spectrum with dear Frobisher and Sixsmith. Because I have a morbid obsession with the First World War (see 'Parade's End' prompts below), some kind of exploration of the effect of the war on Frobisher's family would be really interesting. Or something focused on the fact that Sixsmith had Frobisher’s letters with him when he died. If you want to go a little lighter, it would be nice to have a letter from the halcyon days detailing one of Frobisher’s misadventures. In fact, it would be just wonderful to finally have a responding letter from Sixsmith! 

Peter’s Friends (1992)

Ah, Peter’s Friends - my favourite Christmas film about a man telling his dysfunctional group of friends that he has HIV…

In fact it’s probably my favourite Christmas film full stop. I re-watch it every Christmas. It has just about every one of my favourite famous people in it being funny and charming. Which is really great.

I’d love to see some other Christmases in the lives of this group, whether that means going back or skipping forward. I don’t really mind if actual plot occurs or if there’s just a lot of banter and character exploration. I'd really love to know how you think they'd be getting along in the present day though.

In the past, and to my great shame I assure you *cough*, I’ve rather treated Peter like the proverbial bike. I ‘ship him with pretty much everyone else in the film, particularly Andrew and Sarah. I have conflicting feelings about matching him up with Maggie. On the one hand, they’re probably my favourite pairing. (It’s Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson! How could I resist?) Maggie and Peter are my two favourite characters and they’re just so adorable with one another. Also, I like to imagine Maggie was rather sweet on Peter when she first met him. On the other, I think they’re too ill-matched (or perhaps too similarly flighty) to keep a romantic relationship going. Still, I wonder if Maggie would have had the same rebuff from Peter if she had made him the same offer a few years earlier (and not while completely nude).

Look at them! Look how cute!

I have a soft spot for Fry/Laurie in all its iterations, so Peter/Roger is welcome. However, I don’t like to ignore Mary. If you would like to write Peter/Roger (and bless you for it) I’d prefer if it also involved Mary or took place prior to Roger and Mary’s marriage. The same goes if you'd like to write Mary in another pairing.

Amazing Grace (2006)

He was a campaigner for the abolition of slavery, on a one man mission to save Britain from its own filthiness. He was the snub-nosed twenty-five year old prime-minister who said yes to the future and no to France. They met at university (although they didn't really become acquainted until later, I think? Because Pitt was fourteen at the time or something equally ridiculous, the bamf) and became lifelong friends. As young men, they watched Parliamentary debates together, because that's a date night for awesome people. They were apparently both really witty and Wilberforce could sing.

How does any of this not add up to the perfect buddy movie?

You can take that last bit as seriously as you like, because I would quite honestly love to see Wilberforce and Pitt in some kind of Top Gun scenario. I don't know what the eighteenth century equivalent of volleyball would be... In Amazing Grace they seem to like running around with their shirts open, would that do?

I would like anything about Pitt and Wilberforce's relationship, from any point in their lives. Like I said in my little preferences bit, I like slash, but I also like friendships and ambiguous relationships. You can treat the bond between Pitt and Wilberforce any way that feels right to you. If you want to include Barbara Spooner Wilberforce or even Eleanor Eden, that is fine with me.

I love historical detail, or anything that riffs off a real event or statement. But please don't pay attention to that if you're only familiar with the film. If I wanted eighteenth century RPF, I should have asked for it, right? :)

Parade’s End - Ford Madox Ford

I'm really not sure that anyone will have signed up for this! I nominated a hodge-podge of side characters because I presumed that others would nominate Chrissy, Valentine and Sylvia, which turned out not to be the case. :P But I am going to persevere with this request because, on the off chance that somebody does want to write about some of the less important people in No More Parades, I would really love to read it!

I've requested McKechnie, Levin and Cowley, and I would love character-driven pieces for any of these individual characters. It can be introspective, or perhaps look at a moment in the book from their perspective, or focus on another time in their lives. What are their lives like after the war? Who were they and what were their lives like prior to it? It's really up to you.

I'd really love to know if Levin's marriage survives peacetime. It would be great to know more about his wife and what she really thinks of him. I imagine any happiness in their married life would be a complicated affair...

Seeing as Christopher wasn't a nominated character, I know I can't expect fic about him. I do so love how the other officers worry about him and mother him though. Just... McKechnie giving him cocoa! And him treating it like this strange new thing and not really comprehending how McKechnie is trying to look after him. I would love anything along those lines.

Cambridge Spies

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country..."

Another year of having to think of helpful suggestions for anyone wanting to write Cambridge Spies fic! I ask for Cambridge Spies every year because it's one of my favourite telly things in the world. However, with each year I get more self-conscious and find it harder to express what I'd like. Basically, though, what I'd like is heaps of Guy/Anthony, with a side order of Julian Bell.

This is one fandom where I actively long for my heart to be broken. You can pile on the melancholy and the unspoken feelings and the regret and the moral dilemmas.

Historical detail is always lovely, though you shouldn't worry too much about it. If you want to bring in some more characters from the real lives of the Cambridge Five, that would be grand. Oh, and if you want to do a cross-over, you can add in any fictional spies you like! I have a real fondness for spy fiction.

I'm very sorry that it's taken me so long to finish off this letter. I don't like making excuses, but I thought I'd get back to it before assignments went out and then real life intervened... I hope it hasn't inconvenienced you, and that the finished article proves helpful.

Have fun writing! :)
[ profile] Tibby
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