brightknightie: With Hank and Diana in the lead, the children confront Tiamat. (Other Fandom D&D poster)
Amy R. ([personal profile] brightknightie) wrote2015-02-23 10:10 pm

2015 RarelyWritten "Dear Author" Letter

Dear [community profile] rarelywritten Ficathon Exchange Author,

Thank you for accepting my prompts in this game! And applause for your excellent taste in fandoms. :-)

I'll strive to keep this year's letter shorter than its predecessors. If you'd like oodles more details, I have a standing "Fanfic Likes and Dislikes" post (updated February 2015), and individual letters for past rounds of this game (2014, 2013, 2012) with different prompts in many of the same fandoms that you're welcome to recycle and choose instead.

Overall, my fannish tastes run to characters striving to be good and true in the face of obstacles and at a cost. Everything from grand adventures to quiet domesticity to wrenching tragedy is welcome. My favorite fandoms tend to grapple with themes of survivorship, identity and purpose; often, a motivating quest shapes canon.

  • I love canonicity, history and metaphor; steadfastness, longing and struggles for the good and right; friendships and chosen families; mutuality and equality; second chances ("seventy times seven" chances).

  • I avoid most things commonly called kinks; out-of-character, vulgarity and absurdity; lack of consequences; depictions of evil as admirable or even easily excused.

  • I believe that fandom too often overlooks its canonical women characters for many reasons, some purely gender-biased, and that this is sad. Yay, RarelyWritten!

Please mix, match or isolate the characters as suits your imagination.

I'm sure I'll enjoy and appreciate anything you're moved to write in our shared fandom!

(1) Forever Knight

Characters: Urs, Janette, Serena, Tracy, Cohen

Prompt option A: "Urs doesn't know her own strength." — Vachon, "Hearts of Darkness"

Prompt option B: "How can the earthen pot go with the metal cauldron? / When they knock together, the pot will be smashed." — Sirach (Eccelsiasticus) 13:2

Parameters: I'd love gen featuring any of these characters, or romance for Nick/Urs or Nick/Janette. (Otherwise, I'm sure I'd also enjoy Nick/Serena, Tracy/Vachon, Janette/Serena or Janette/Urs if romance is your thing and one of those couples is much more your style.) Please, don't go "dark" (that is, please don't celebrate vampirism or evil). Feel free to branch off from canon with a "What if?" — especially if avoiding or reshaping third season's present-day events.

(2) Young Blades

Characters: Jacqueline Roget (aka Jacques Laponte), Anne of Austria (Queen Anne), Emanuelle (the regular Cafe Nouveau waitress), Liana (from "Enchanted"), Pauline LaRue (referenced in "To Heir is Human;" I actually meant to nominate Celeste LaRue from that same episode; my mistake!)

Prompt option A: "But you exacted justice for your father! What holds you?" / "Justice for France." — Charles and Jacqueline, "The Exile"

Prompt option B: "France is an absolute monarchy, tempered by ballads." — Unknown, saying; first quoted in the 18th century by Nicolas Chamfort

Parameters: I'd love gen featuring any of these characters! Flirtation and UST/longing are welcome if romance is much more your thing. (I should say that I don't personally see Jacqueline sharing d'Artagnan's vision of them as a couple; being a wife and mother in their era would be a huge obstacle to her mission, never mind the price on her head and her disguise, besides personal inclinations. Yet she did seriously consider Charles.) Please don't blame Mazarin's evil on the Church; his evil is his own, while the Church is everyone else's, too, including Jacqueline's and mine. ~wry~

(3) Battlestar Galactica (1978)

Characters: Cassiopeia, Serina, Tinia (from "Baltar's Escape"), Athena, Sheba

Prompt option A: "A relationship based on possession isn't for me. I don't want to own Starbuck." — Cassiopeia, "Take the Celestra"

Prompt option B: "Somewhere the saving and putting away had to begin again and someone had to do the saving and keeping, one way or another, in books, in records, in people's heads..." — Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Parameters: I'd love gen starring Cassiopeia, Serina or Tinia, or romance for Starbuck/Cassiopeia. (Otherwise, I'd also enjoy gen featuring Athena or Sheba, or romance for Apollo/Serina or Adama/Tinia.) Please tread just a little carefully around Apollo/Sheba, if applicable; I've never felt wholly right about Sheba so swiftly stepping into Serina's family (and Boomer's job).

Note: Are you familiar with the Battlestar Galactica wiki? It's very handy.

(4) Dungeons and Dragons (cartoon) (1983-1985)

Characters: Diana (the Acrobat), Sheila (the Thief), Varla (from "The Last Illusion"), Martha (from "The Winds Of Darkness")

Prompt option A: "We're outnumbered ten to one!" / "All right, then. You take two; I'll take eighteen." — Eric and Diana, "The Traitor"

Prompt option B: "Violets for the grave of youth, / And bay for those dead in their prime; / Give me the withered leaves I chose / Before in the old time." — Christina Rossetti, "O roses for the flush of youth" in Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862)

Parameters: I'd love gen starring any of these characters. I'd especially adore a plot from Diana or Sheila's perspective with scenes both on earth and in the Realm, whether while they're still teenagers or after they've grown up. (If romance is more your style than gen, any canon-sensitive, era-aware pairing that's age-appropriate could be wholly satisfying. (If you decide on f/f, please recall how that was different to the culture in the 1980s than it is today.) No underage sex, please! If your story goes that direction, please set it after the applicable eighteenth birthday(s).) I'm equally open to integrating or ignoring the unfilmed finale script, as best serves your idea.

Note: Are you familiar with the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon encyclopedia? It's awe-inspiring.

(5) Highlander: The Series

Characters: Tessa Noel, Randi McFarland, Angie Burke, Rachel MacLeod, Grace Chandel, Michelle Webster, Anne Lindsey, Annie Devlin, May-Ling Shen, Cierdwyn

Prompt option A: "I thought ridding the world of evil would feel better than this." — Tessa, "See No Evil"

Prompt option B: "Measure twice, cut once." — Unknown, saying; versions dating at least to 16th century

Parameters: I'd adore a Tessa story, with or without Duncan/Tessa romance! And I'd love gen featuring any of these characters. (Otherwise, I'd also enjoy Richie/Angie, Duncan/Anne, other canonical pairings, Randi/OC, Rachel/OC, if romance is your thing and one of those couples is much more your style than Duncan/Tessa.) Please don't include the Horsemen, but Methos alone is fine if your story needs him.

YB - Jacqueline

(Anonymous) 2015-03-10 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
I completely agree with you that I can't see Jacqueline doing the wife/mom thing - not until her mission is complete. I'm not sure I think that's the future D'Artagnan sees when he's not over-a-barrel-with-a-baby, but I will say that, given his issues with his own father, he'd want to be there and not off musketeering if he had a child. If only they had reliable birth control, it'd be much easier (I have a couple other couples/fandoms that I'd give a lifetime of dedicated service and no children, and since they're modern, it's no prob). But though the show is almost cracky enough for me to have her remain in secret service to the king, I'm not sure what future I would write for her. I can't just have her "settle down" - not until Mazarin is dead and the Order stopped, at the very least. But 30 years of living a lie (possibly tied to a similar time-frame of celibacy by necessity) doesn't please me, either.

Re: YB - Jacqueline

(Anonymous) 2015-03-10 11:16 am (UTC)(link)
I've been thinking of the "mission is complete" thing, too. I don't know whether or not I agree on the never-stopping-so-long-as-there-is-a-threat or not. On the one hand, there's a logic to it, but on the other in "Enchanted" her plan/goal seems to be firmly fixed on ending Mazarin's reign, and she seems to regard that as an end point.

Right now (and I might change my mind in a few days; recently back in fandom and thinking about it, so the idea isn't fixed in my head yet), I'm thinking of fudging history a bit regarding Musketeers(certainly the show did - Musketeers didn't even exist in 1652 amongst many other things) and actually having Mazarin succeed in disbanding the Musketeers 3-5 years after the show ends (budgetary reasons, and Louis has grown up enough to not put "I like them" over the needs of France). It seems like he has his victory, but of course, our Musketeers won't let it stand. The four (or five, depending on Duval involvement) find out of the big plot he has scheduled and stop it and take him down. Mazarin dies via magic and the unknowing think it natural causes. Louis never finds out what happened. But the question becomes whether to make it a clean sweep or not? Is the Order destroyed, leaving no Musketeers and four people who must decide what individual paths their lives will take (I'm not prone the reunion shows that duck in 15 years later and find everyone still living the exact same life they were when the show was on) or do you have remnant of the Order left? It's weakened by the blow, and headless, but 800 years old and certainly not dead yet and so the four go private to fight it? Bonus points for using a treasure obtained while defeating Mazarin.

What do Siroc and Ramon do when the fighting is over? I'm not sure if I'd have Siroc ever marry or not, but Ramon I definitely would. He's a romantic and I think that's something he'd want, but as for jobs, I'm unsure. I'm not sure when the University system got rolling v. private patrons, but Siroc really must keep working/inventing.

I do think Jacqueline is at least falling for D'Artagnan if not in love with him (I do think he's already in love, but he doesn't really let her know that; he keeps to baiting and flirtation and dating others because it's safer/more familiar). Part of that is "The Invincible Sword" because even though it's a dream and I don't like it and haven't watched it in years (I don't like heroes acting so badly, despite the reason; that's why I didn't like Spider-man 3), I seem to recall her subconscious messing with her about that. And she invited him to England with her.

I don't like "Secrets" and tend to disregard it, though I know that isn't fair to canon. But it makes no sense, with the author chatting with them (which is why I feel justified), gives us rapists Ramon and Siroc and would-be rapist D'Artagnan and introduces the cross backstory that, if it was introduced in fanfiction, would immediately make me hit the back button. Things like that, to me, have to be introduced, or at least hinted at, earlier in the series. Having said that, I still probably would not have had Jacqueline go to America even then. France means to much to her for me to have her leave, even to be with her brother. I'd sooner have had her write and let him know he could come home (whether or not he'd made a life for himself there and declined or not being a tossup).

Re: YB - Jacqueline

(Anonymous) 2015-03-12 12:49 am (UTC)(link)
Looking forward to it.

Side note, if you don't mind: I just noticed last year's post mentioned Siroc or Ramon knowing her secret and not mentioned, and wanted to vent a little. Hope you don't mind. Thought about a Tumblr post, but no one follows the show, so it'd be useless.

Vent follows:

I'm sick of fics where Siroc has know for ages (and Ramon has known less time). I've been reading a number of fics lately and this pops up over and over and over again. I'm almost to the point of immediate-back-buttoning over it (new characters who've known her two minutes figuring it out with no real clues is a back-buton thing for me). I cannot recall within the show that there was ever any hint to the audience that Siroc had a clue. And the audience needs to have hints, even if the other characters don't get them. Every incidence that I can remember of him noticing something odd had Ramon notice, too. And Ramon was the one the talking about the lack of man in her manhood and Ramon was the one commenting on the locked door. I want some fic where Ramon knows or at least suspects and Siroc is clueless! I find it far more canon-supported than Siroc knowing and Ramon not knowing.

Re: YB - Jacqueline

(Anonymous) 2015-03-12 10:55 am (UTC)(link)
I recall reading that the actor said the slave-idea came from before casting, when they planned a black character (he used "African-American" but I can't remember if that was for actor or character, and I'm thinking a slave from the French Caribbean seems a little more likely than any sort of American, but I'm not sure if that's what was intended).

Re: YB - Jacqueline

(Anonymous) 2015-03-12 11:26 am (UTC)(link)
Forgot to say a couple things; sorry. I get caught up in one idea and forget to *plan* my post or think before I post.

Yes, the series bible said that, but my understanding is that the "former slave" bit was also on his bio at the show's official website when the show aired. I tried to check the wayback machine, but the page apparently used shockwave flash, so I don't know how to go about viewing it or if it's even possible.

As for stories -, ybbeyond has some (including a few eps of a virtual second season that decently written, IMO, even if does have suspecting-Sirocco and non-suspecting Ramon) but you have to register. Also henchmenatheart. So many unfinished fics, though.

It's just the Siroc's-known-for-ages thing over and over again that makes it so irritating for me. A one-off wouldn't be so troublesome.

I agree of Siroc's lack of people skills ("gesture less emphatically"), and Ramon's skill for it. I don't think he's spectrum, though (I do think fans tend to over-diagnose that to anyone without people skills).

I don't really remember Siroc insulting Jacqueline's religious sensibilities (the only incident that I can think of that really bothered her was just her being uncomfortable about his experiment with the frog, and Ramon looked disturbed, too). Then again, I'm an atheist so what he's saying may seem so reasonable to me that I don't realize it's offensive. And it has been a while since I've watched some of the eps, so I may be forgetting some things. We do know Siroc isn't an atheist, though, from "Rub a Dub Sub" and particularly from "Da Vinci's Notebook" where he seems to really think he needs to be prayed for because he's doing something he shouldn't. And that ep really does sort of have a tempted-by-the-devil vibe to it.

Re: YB - Jacqueline

(Anonymous) 2015-03-14 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
It's all down to perception. Different viewers see things differently. Sometimes I see a completely different emotional context to a scene than another person does.

The more I think about it, the more I think it's not that Siroc truly lacks people skills - it's that he doesn't pay enough attention to use the skills he has sometimes. Other times, he's as astute as anyone.

One scene I adore (it's just funny to me) is in "Wanted" when after Jacqueline says to forget about her previous story and Siroc says "awfully nice of you" and then d'Artagnan is like "he means he was lying." That could have been played as Siroc being straight when he said it and not picking up on what Jacques meant. But it wasn't. Instead Siroc was sarcastic and d'Artagnan took him literally, and then Siroc looks at d'Artagnan like he's a complete moron. I just love the look on his face.

On the other hand, Siroc often seems entirely surprised that the others don't share his interest in why fabrics cling to one another or other such things. It seems to me to usually be when he's actually working in his lab that he becomes more a little emotionally-tone-deaf, and I think that's probably because he's just focused on what he's doing instead of the people in the room with him. It's like he doesn't stop to think why Duval would be introducing his good friend d'Artagnan to him - he's just not paying sufficient attention to notice the oddity, I think. Other times, he's fine. Like he picked up on the history between Duval and his ex-fiancee.

Can I ask which ep the autopsy was in? I'd like to rewatch for it. I thought "Coat of Arms" but I just watched that one again, and there was no autopsy. Duval asked Siroc to examine the first body, but there was no cutting involved. The second, Duval's old friend, Siroc politely asked permission and then checked for a tattoo and looked at the fatal wound and that was all that was done (he seemed aware of Duval's feelings, and Duval seemed to understand it as necessary to the investigation to me). And I can't think which other ep it would be.