October 2017

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Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 09:24 am
Dear Creator,

Thank you for writing for me! I'm eager to see what you do with my prompts!

I love crossovers - whether one set of characters happens to end up in another universe, or the two universes have always co-existed, or characters from one universe have been transplanted into another!

I've set up this letter talking about the fandoms I've nominated, the things I like about them, and my favourite characters/scenarios from them. Hopefully you can work from that.

If I mentioned something in the sign-up but haven't touched on it in the letter, then it just means I didn't manage to properly replicate from one platform to the other. Just go with whichever is easier for you.

things I like
- women at the centre of the narrative, fuelling the action, thinking, feeling, acting, having agency, or using what agency they have in the most effective way they have
- female friendships: women working together, respecting each other's skills, valuing each others' differences, even if they don't like each other
- respectful heterosexual relationships: men who respect women as people, who treat women as people, who love women as individuals; women who struggle to trust but still choose to trust, even as they find ways to be who they need to be. (I hold to the view that if we can't model such relationships in fiction, then we will never see them in real life.)
- some of my thoughts on fusion AUs as a guide to help you if you're stuck about how to proceed.
- worldbuilding - how did these things come to be, what kind of history/background do they have? You don't have to show me the workings, just a little hint of 'more' is sufficient - keep the focus of the story in the now! (the old chestnut of 'show, don't tell').

Things I Don't Want
- slash pairings, even in the background (I have specific slash pairings, and it's easier just to say DNW than to go through the exceptions).
- refrigerated/ignored female characters (even if one of the fandoms is guy-heavy, you can go light on the guys and just give me the female characters)
- deathfic, hopelessness, downer endings
- my favourite character turned into the villain
- purely smutfic

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Characters: Maria Hill, Pepper Potts, Steve Rogers.
Relationships: Maria Hill/Steve Rogers, Tony Stark/Pepper Potts, Natasha Romanoff/Bucky Barnes
What I like about canon: I have always had a thing for the superhero genre, even as a kid. People who are heroes, trying to do the right thing, who are often failing, or struggling with other things behind the heroism, or who question either their right to act or the rightness of acting. In particular, I love the characters who have to keep an eye on the consequences and manage what results. Eg. Maria Hill working for SHIELD, unnoticed, unrecognised - and yet capable of marshalling her resources to break Steve, Natasha, and Sam out from under HYDRA's nose. Capable of deep loyalty to Fury and the protection of the world, even as she works, respects, and relaxes with the Avengers.

Pacific Rim
Characters: Mako Mori, Stacker Pentecost, Raleigh Becket
Relationships: Mako/Raleigh, Stacker/Herc
What I like about canon: Giant robots fighting megamonsters? What's not to love? Um, yeah, like just about everyone else, I love the Jaeger program, but not just the pilots (although the pilots are great) but the support crews, the people who keep everything running (Tendo Choi). But I particularly like that a non-white woman got have the hero's narrative, achieving her dream in the movie, and wasn't treated as a sexy lamp along the way. Mako and Raleigh can be romantic or friendship, as long as that intimacy and affection between them is maintained. Also a soft spot for me: the sense of found family. Mako as the child who lost her family, only to find it again in the Shatterdome characters, but whose family also sacrificed themselves before she achieved her dreams.

Stargate Atlantis
Characters: Teyla Emmagan, Ronon Dex
Relationships: Teyla Emmagan/John Sheppard, Ronon Dex/Elizabeth Weir, Ronon Dex/Jennifer Keller.
What I like about canon: The sense of exploration, of discovery - the idea that there are new world uncontacted, and what we might learn from them. Sadly, the show failed on the 'what we might learn from them' taking the traditional racist colonisation tropes and perpetrating them. However, I always felt that the Atlantis expedition could, would, and should be more - a true sense of open-minded discovery, the ability to accept that these people do not have technology but it's not that they're incapable of comprehending it, just that being in a constant endless war for one's life is not conducive to extended philosophy and technological development.

Rogue One
Characters: Jyn Erso, Lyra Erso, Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus
Relationships: Jyn/Cassian, Chirrut/Baze.
What I like about canon: I think what I like best about Rogue One fandom is the sense that small, ordinary people can make a difference – that resistance happens in a variety of ways and sometimes just one change isn’t all that effective, but collectively all that resistance makes a big ball of STOP RIGHT THE FUCK THERE for the bad that might otherwise be too big for any one person or aspect to handle. In addition to this, the Found Family sense is strong with this one, and I love both that trope and the way Rogue One actually trembles on the edge of it. They’re strangers, and then people bound by a common mission with the potential of more. Sadly, due to the ending, the potential never achieves, but isn’t part of the outpouring of fanfic in this fandom all about exploring that potential?

Black Jewels
Characters: Surreal, Cassidy, Wilhelmina
Relationships: the canon pairings are fine, although leave the Surreal/Daemon off, since the time period I'm choosing precludes it.
What I like about canon: o The actual canon is pretty dark – abuse and brutality and the things people do when they have power over others – the monsters that people become with power in hand. What I love about this fandom is largely the worldbuilding (particularly the intersectionality of Jewel strength, caste, and social rank) and the female-focus of the society, both of which hit all my buttons and which I love seeing. The characters I want to see more of tend to be the women who aren’t all-powerful Queens – Surreal, who has dark Jewels but isn’t any of the castes, Wilhelmina, who is much the same, but also who lives with a certain amount of fear of her power, and Cassidy, who’s a Queen but one whose power requires trust of her First Circle, and whose First Circle rely on her trust in them.

Characters: Gwen, Merlin
Relationships: Gwen/Arthur
What I like about canon: I only watched up to S3 of the series, largely because Gwen was my favourite character and she wasn't getting enough screen time, plus the continued knots that they twisted themselves into trying to keep Merlin's magic from Arthur? Noped me right out of there. So in this canon, I liked the original foursome - Gwen, Merlin, Morgana, Arthur - I liked the potential that we saw in all of them to be their end selves, and I guess I got kind of angry that it was never really achieved in canon. What this canon provides that interests me most is the themes of identity, both hidden and concealed, and the intersection of social nobility (Arthur and Morgana) vs nobility of character (most clearly seen in Gwen and Lancelot and Gwaine) vs power (Arthur has political power, Merlin has magical power, Morgana has both but is somewhat crippled in both, and Gwen has neither).

Wonder Woman
Characters: Diana, Etta, Napi (Chief), Sameer
Relationships: Diana/Steve Trevor, Diana/Bruce Wayne
What I like about canon: The thing I loved about the move was Diana’s combination of innocence and determination and what that looks like given a hundred years of watching humanity war with each other – knowing what she knows, knowing what she is. I also loved how the movie and Diana’s interactions with Napi, Sameer, and Charlie dealt with the issues of colonialism, racism, and mental health without either sparing the ugliness of it or going full-on critical. Plus Etta was lovely – such hope and enthusiasm tempered by an awareness of how the world works – a more human balance against Diana’s innocence and desire to make the world right.

Battlestar Galactica
Characters: Sharon "Athena" Agathon, Lee "Apollo" Adama (Also Kara Thrace, Laura Roslin, Bill Adama, Dee)
Relationships: Athena/Helo, Lee/Kara (also Lee/Dee, Roslin/Adama)
What I like about canon: This one's a bit different to the other fandoms. I love the other fandoms because they're heroes making heroic choices. This canon starts off with them making the unheroic choice - to leave millions of people behind because they can save some or they can save none. (I had a friend who HATED this BSG incarnation for that reason; however, at the time, I was sick of 'heroes always save everyone' and wanted something about characters who might have been heroic trying to scrape in survival. And then we got four seasons and increasingly depressing scenarios, and I was tired of that, too - so a little hard realism, but not too much.) I love the ships and the pilots, the way that the society has fallen, but some things hold - why do they hold? How? The rebuilding of society was fascinating because it very much subscribed to my perspective of humanity - with hope, but also with flaws, and there were times when hope prevailed and times when the flaws came out too strongly. And yet they made something of it, lived with the choices they'd made, and clung hard to life and living and love.

Please do not take any of the ideas as prescriptive. They're ideas, not requirements - if you can do them, great! If you can't, just avoid the Do Not Wants, and it'll be all good!

Look, we matched on fandoms because we liked the characters and/or the worldbuilding. So write, have fun, don't stress, and I look forward to enjoying your work when it's done!