Laura Walker (googlebrat) wrote,
Laura Walker

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Dear Yuletide Writer..

Right! Time to sit down and write my Yuletide letter. Except, you know, I have a sinus headache and Sudafed is making the world all floaty so ignore anything particularly incoherent.


Well, if you've ended up with me, you like book fandoms 'cause that's pretty much all I went with this year. The good news is a couple of my fandoms are pretty easy to get into and they're all pretty much YAish so, you know, if the request you got matched with me on isn't working for you it should be pretty easy for you to pick another up. Relax, anyway. Everything's gunna be fiiiine.

You might be getting from my requests that I'm a gennish type. I don't mind relationships as PART of the story but I don't really want them to be the point of the story. Give me plot, lots and lots of it.

(The good news in this is that if you have a ship you can sell well, I probably won't object to it no matter what it is.)

CHERUB - Robert Muchamore
Lauren Adams

The 12 year old in me thinks belonging to CHERUB would be the most awesome-cool thing ever. The adult in me is morally aghast and horrified at exploiting children in this way. Let's be honest here, you're taking kids on when they're wee and paying them at the lowest level of secret service pay until they're eighteen? Well, that's awfully generous of you but I think as an adult that if I didn't get a payrise in five years or so I'd be a bit pissed off. And really, do the lowest level usually get put in situations where they get shot at? Or have to kill people?

Then there's the screwing kids up. Kids don't ever really leave CHERUB - look at Large for that. And I'd say James has a 50% chance of doing awesome and a 50% chance of becoming a major criminal using the skills CHERUB taught him.

Of all the kids, I think Lauren is the most likely to get pissed off about this when she works this out and that's what I'd like to see.

CHERUB is awesome, dear writer. It's like Young James Bond excepy half-believable and at least half a stab at morals even if they don't always work out (my eyebrows were mightily raised by Zara's looking the other way in the last book, I can tell you). However, it has like, 13 books now I think so if you haven't already read it you're probably not going to before Yuletide (Read it anyway! It has canon gay characters as a matter of course, and homophobia whhich actually gets dealt with and characters who behave badly AND GET CALLED OUT ON IT). James though, is.. James. He's not a hero, but he has a sister and friends who try to at least beat him into being less of an ass. That doesn't always work though, and I can see it working less when he's at university and away from their influence. James could easily Go Bad. Hell, James could become a Large without too much effort.

And then there's Lauren who has all this PASSION and BELIEF and I can see her hitting adulthood and going "Whoa, what happened to us as kids was SCREWED UP!" And then doing something about it, because Lauren doesn't do looking away and pretending bad things aren't happening.

I put her as the main character in this but seriously, throw who else you like in there. You could have her going back and confronting the teachers, you could have her trying to talk James into therapy for what they went through, you could have her trying to convince their whole gang that what happened was Wrong. You could even have her hunting Large down and pulling him in.

Lauren is great, and what I like about her is that she CAN'T pretend that wrongs aren't happening. She can't help foil an environmental terrorist agency but then pretend all is good in the world of animal welfare - she's seen it, she knows it, now she has to do something about it. I also love that she loves James, even when she's pissed off with him, even when she's telling him he's an idiot. Do something with that for me.

Queen's Thief - Megan Whalen Turner

Eugenides (Queen's Thief)
Minister of War

We know Gen gets progressively closer to his gods as the book series goes on, but we never actually really see the journey. Book 1 he sort of half takes them seriously, then he MEETS them, and by book 2 he's viewing them as someone personal enough that he can yell at (and they yell back). I'd like to see some of that journey.

Alternatively, I'd like to see it from his father's point of view. Remember, thieves fall only if Eugenides drops them, and his wife fell. It must be hard to realise that Eugenides is REAL and somewhere made that choice.

You know, I read these books in a weird order. I got Queen of Attolia at the huge sale when Borders died, fell in love with it and assumed that The Thief would have lots of stuff with Gen talking to his gods as by Queen he's got the sort of relationship where they will personally give him a smackdown for being whiny. Then I read The Thief and that doesn't happen - Gen goes from basically treating them as a thing he believes in but not Believes in to meeting them and having them scare the crap out of him, but we never see him try to mentally process that.

And let's underline this here - thieves only die of falling if the god Eugenides drops them. And Gen's mother fell. That means that at some point the gods have decided that in order for Gen to BE Gen, this had to happen. That he couldn't grow up and bind everyone together if this didn't happen. And this isn't an abstract sort-of-superstition concept god, this is a god he's MET. How does Gen feel about that? How does his FATHER feel about that? How did he feel about it when he was wee - did it stop him from wanting to be a thief? In fact, how did the god Eugenides feel about it - did it hurt to let go? Did he wait as long as possible? Did the gods worry they might lose Gen as a tool because of it?

I know I've put Gen and his father down as characters here, but don't feel bound to use them both if the story doesn't fit them. You could use both, or either, or you could even do a god's-eye point of view of Gen.

Writer, if you haven't read these they aren't TOO hard to get into. It's only a YA sized 4 book series and, honestly, you could probably write a story I'd like after reading the first two. And there's politics! Lots of lovely politics! You'll like it, I promise.

Fire and Hemlock - Diana Wynne Jones

Granny Whittacker

We know Granny went through the same thing Polly did and lost. I'd like either a back in time showing her story as she fought for HER Tom, or Polly meeting Tom from her point of view, and her actions as she tries to protect Polly.

(Granny is basically awesome. Small, fierce and awesome).

When I grow up, I totally want to be Granny Whittaker. She is awesome in so many ways. Just the thought of this little old lady not only taking her grand-daughter in but sailing forth into battle to get custody of her because her son and daughter in law are so clearly incapable of doing it. A young Granny against Laurie would be so formidable that I almost can't imagine how she lost.

So I'd love the prequel that shows us how she lost, or what she was thinking when Tom came over from That House. A retelling from Granny's point of view would be excellent also. Was she tempted to go down to That House and tell Laurie to stay away from her grand-daughter? Did she want to send Sebastion away with a flea in his ear or did she think knowing him might protect Polly?

Writer, if you're stuck on your fandom request take this as the gift it is. The whole fandom is only one book, you can totally start it now.

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

Peter Wiggin

Later in the series young Peter becomes a character you can feel more empathy with, but young Peter is basically Evil with a capital E. I'd like to see more of his early life - we know he was monitored loger than most, and that was why the Wiggins were allowed a third child. How did Peter become Peter, and what was young Peter like from his own point of view?

Final request! Peter through his brother's eyes is a horrible horrible person who is clearly out to murder him in his sleep and totally capable of it. But Peter later on does things like working to make it safe for Ender (even if Ender never does come home) and is a much more likable character.

Young!Peter would be great. Peter while he was monitored (and his reaction to it stopping, Peter and Valentine before Ender came along, Peter's reaction to getting a second sibling, and the part of Peter that loved and hated his siblings both at once. Make him smart as we know he is, make him vicious at times certainly, but please don't play him as completely and iredeemably evil. Family fic would be wonderful, but so would Peter at school fic.

Hopefully, dear writer, that gives you a good deal to pick through. In fic styles, I like sly humour which doesn't necessarily need to be laugh out loud. I like sad with a twist of hope, and I love family relationships. Sex and violence are fine if they contribute to the story, but not neccesarily in graphic detail.

And as I said earlier, relax! It'll be fine.
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