bakerloo: (Gatiss | A gentleman and a scholar)
[personal profile] bakerloo
Dear Yuletide Author,

Thank you for signing up this year! It’s a delight to know that someone out there is interested in writing for one of my favourite little fandoms. Though I don’t yet know what we matched on, I’d like to reassure you that, regardless, I’m pretty easy to please. This letter is about giving you some idea of what I especially like and throwing around a few prompts, just in case you need some inspiration. I expect you to be as free with these suggestions as you like! I think the best story is going to be the one that you enjoy writing, after all.

So, to begin! Some reading preferences (which will probably end up being very woolly):

• I enjoy gen and I enjoy relationship fic. ♥ Het, slash, femslash, poly, friendship, familial (biological family or found family, I don’t mind). Incest is a bit trickier because I tend to be picky about what I will read in that category – I think I’d prefer if you avoided it, if that’s okay. Anyway, I’ll get into specifics with the individual fandoms.
• I don’t mind if the fic ends up being explicit or not but I tend towards the vanilla... For smut, I’d prefer a fic where it isn’t the entire focus. For violence, I’d like it not to be graphic and prolonged.
• Kinks and tropes I’m very much okay with include: domesticity, hurt/comfort, cross-dressing, pining, soul mates, angst, fluff, ambiguous sexuality/relationships
• The things I’d not like to receive are underage and non-con, of any kind.
• Cross-overs are wonderful. Cross over whichever of the canons you’d like – if you’ve been simply aching to write about Sylvia Tietjens’ adventures in Dinotopia, I’d be the last person to stop you. You can check my interests if you’d like more cross-over ideas.
• AUs are also lovely. Go mad. I like everything from coffee shop scenarios to His Dark Materials-like worlds, with the only exception, I think, being high school/college AUs. My particular weakness is for historical AUs, and I have a definite soft spot for making characters werewolves.

Now onto the fandoms! Huzzah! (The parts in italics are from my sign-up.)

Belle (2014)

I love Dido and Elizabeth's relationship. I love that they are, for the longest time, the most important people in each other's lives. They’re close but different. And they're both trapped in their societal roles - which they deal with in very different ways. I'd really love to know how their relationship develops as they grow older and have families of their own. Are they still close? (I really hope so!) Do they pay each other visits? Take care of each other’s children? Discuss (or in Elizabeth's case, avoid discussing) politics? Do they fall into old habits when they're together?

Back story would also be lovely. Any little incident in their formative years, or missing scenes from the film!

I have a real soft spot for close female friendships, which is partly why Dido and Elizabeth’s relationship spoke so strongly to me. The film portrays such a complex, beautiful bond between them. They’re sisters, really. And, like all sisters, they sometimes find themselves on different sides but ultimately they’re more similar than they are dissimilar. Anything about their relationship, honestly, would be lovely – it can be plotty or conversational or pure navel gazing.

Feel free to add in any little historical references you like – Dido and Elizabeth could discuss the French Revolution or read Ann Radcliffe’s novels together! But don’t worry too much about research, or sticking to the facts of the real Dido Elizabeth Belle’s life. The film took quite a few liberties so I quite expect you to do so too.


Amazing Grace (2006)

I'd love anything about the relationship between Pitt and Wilberforce, whether it's political chat or larking around, friendship or slash. I like the ambiguity of Pitt's sexuality and I'd be into any fic where he is in unrequited love with Wilberforce (who is completely in the dark) or conflicted about his feelings. If you're interested in the historical background, I'd be happy if you'd like to mention Pitt's relationship with Lady Eleanor Eden (who I've always thought sounded like a pretty awesome lady). Equally, I'd like fluff where Pitt and Wilberforce just enjoy each other’s company - finding things to do on a rainy Sunday, attending Parliamentary debates together, Pitt teasing Wilberforce for taking in yet another pet and awkwardly trying to help look after it...

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?

Or perhaps… This is one fandom where I’d particularly like to see some fluffy domesticity. I know that it doesn’t really work within canon to have them sharing a house, even for a short time, but if you’d like to twist events so that it could happen, I’d really love to read about that. If you prefer something a little less twee, though, I’d equally love some stiff-upper-lipped Pitt, pining away for Wilberforce. Maybe epistolary fic, where the words between the lines in exchanged letters are made clear? I find the idea of Pitt being in unrequited love with Wilberforce more believable than the other way round, but you could switch them if you’d like; I’d love to be shown another way of looking at it. Or, even better, they could both be struggling with their feelings. Yes, I have a bit of a thing for repressed Englishmen sometimes. :P


Blandings Castle – P. G. Wodehouse

I love all of these characters but, if I'm being completely honest, Freddie is my absolute favourite. I'd really love it if you could give him a prominent role. A story about his latest money-making scheme would be ace. I'd love to see him attempt to rope in any of the others as backers.
That said, if you'd like to write Galahad, I really like the idea of his scandalous life in the (18)90s! A chance to read his fabled memoirs would be a real treat - just what kind of trouble was he and his acquaintances getting into?


I have an intense love for all things Wodehousean. His books are my instant happy place, and their pure joyousness have seen me through a good many hard times. I think Evelyn Waugh described Blandings as a Garden of Eden, where no sadness could be permanent? I’d really like to see more stories in the same vein as the canon – the usual round of mistaken identity, doomed business ventures, wrathful aunts and pignapping incidents. However, if you’d like to be a bit more creative with the tone, I’d love to see what you come up with. There’s a fic from Yuletides past, Green Ice by Adina, which I remember as being quite famous in the Jeeves and Wooster fandom. That’s a really good example of playing around with the formula (plus I love a bit of Lord Peter Wimsey). It makes me wonder about what kinds of country house mysteries could occur at Blandings too…

I’ve said already that my favourite character is Freddy but I really do love all the characters a great deal. Lady Constance is a wonderful example of the strong-willed, stately matriarch, quite equal to any of Bertie Wooster’s aunts. Clarence’s fuzzy-minded benevolence and devotion to the Empress is simply adorable. Galahad is always great fun – and I find the possibilities of his younger days in the naughty nineties very intriguing. I like, perhaps most of all, seeing them all functioning (or maybe dysfunctioning) together as a family unit.

I love the fact that all Wodehouse’s characters exist within the same fictional world, so if you’d like to crossover with other books, I’d absolutely love it. My favourites are the Jeeves, Psmith and Drones Club stories. I’m more or less familiar with most of the main Wodehouse characters, though, so throw whomever you’d like into the mix!


Dinotopia – James Gurney

What I'd really love to see for this fandom is world building. I don't mind which character you use to go exploring the island and its society, but I really like the idea of an OFC. I love that the humans of Dinotopia are all shipwrecked, accidental inhabitants. (It makes me feel that a Shakespearean crossover would be apt! Twelfth Night or The Tempest, possibly?) But anyway, you could invent a character from any time or place on Earth. I'd like a clever, resourceful Victorian lady or Pacific Islander, maybe? But I equally like to be surprised!

I think for a lot of people, Dinotopia is a real source of nostalgia, but I came to it late. As in, within this past year. I initially bought the first book for my dinosaur-obsessed seven-year-old nephew but, through reading it to him, I ended up falling for it too. It’s just such an intriguing fantasy world. It has a lot of thought behind it as well as beautiful illustrations by the author. It reminded me of all the fictional landscapes I’d get blissfully lost in as a child (I was one of those kids who loved any book with a map in the front – but then again, who wasn’t?) So although I don’t have childhood memories of the book itself, it does give me some pretty nostalgic feels.

I think this fandom could be really fun to write in (I haven’t tried it myself yet!) and I urge you to be as creative as you’d like. If you have any ideas for a story set in Dinotopia or just ideas about Dinotopia itself, I’d love to read them. Use the island as your sandbox.

If you’d prefer to have some definite prompts… Like I said above, I’d like to see a new female character land on the island and suffer a bit of culture shock before finding her place in the society. Oh, I can’t think of anything more definite than that! I hope that’s at least somewhat helpful to you…


Parade’s End – Ford Madox Ford

I'd really like character-driven fic about any of these four, please! The writing in Parade's End is so rich in characterisation and psychological insight, so that you feel an intimacy with the characters even when they're so confused and full of denial and just so human. You'd think that would be enough, but it makes me crave more. I just want to spend more time with these characters.

I hope that doesn't sound too intimidating! Please don't feel like you have to replicate Ford exactly. I'd be happy with any little snippet of their lives. For relationships, I like that Christopher and Valentine end up together but I also find Christopher's relationship with Sylvia very interesting. I don't think they'd be able to make a marriage work but I do think they love each other (with Sylvia being the more loving one - she looks on Christopher as a saint even when she hates him, whilst Christopher is barely able to understand Sylvia at all). I think that Sylvia, Christopher and Valentine are quite similar - they're all outsiders in one way or another. It would be interesting to have Valentine or Sylvia consider this.
(Also, although my response to love triangles is usually to make them into happy threesomes, I can't see that working in this case.)

I'd also like fic focused on Christopher and McKechnie. I love the way all the officers in No More Parades respond to Christopher, how they all seem to want to take care of him. I'd love to read a fic where McKechnie wraps Christopher in blankets and brings him cocoa, while he's too caught up in his own woes to notice!



I think that’s about all I have to say for now! I’m very sorry that this letter is late, and I hope I haven’t kept you waiting for it. Just like last year, I thought I’d get it done in time and then real life had other plans for me. In any case, I really hope that it’s some help to you.

Have fun!
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