Dear Yuletide writer,

by , under fanfic, writing

Hi, I’m sinkauli on ao3. I don’t know who you are but I probably love you already for wanting to write for me.

General

Likes
A note about crossovers
Dislikes and DNWs

Fandom specifics and prompts

Alpennia – Heather Rose Jones
Fare Well Edinburgh Hogmanay 2020 Drone Show
Lord Peter Wimsey – Dorothy L. Sayers
False Doctrine – Alice Degan
Duolingo Welsh Course
Judge Dee Mysteries – Robert van Gulik

For ALL fandoms: I don’t need all the characters in my signup to be in the story. I don’t need only characters in the tagset to be in the story.

Likes

This is the easy part. Don’t feel yourself limited to things in this list! There are lots of things I like that I’m not listing because if I listed everything in the world that I liked, there would be literally no end. Any of these will make my face light up with joy, though.

  • Friendship. Unexpected, uncomplicated friendship is good! Complicated friendship too, I like any story with friendship better than one with only antagonism, but my very favourite stories are about people becoming friends, or people who are already friends, doing something together or turning out to have something in common which neither of them would have planned for. Peter and Harriet combing the beach for clues in Have His Carcase is one of my favourite scenes. Also the scene in which they decipher the code letter.
    Friends-to-lovers is okay but it’s a pity if that’s the whole point of the story.
  • Happy ending. I’m a sucker for happy endings, especially other happy endings than “people getting together as a couple”. It’s a good thing when people get together as a couple! But that’s not by far the only way to be happy. I also like open(ish) endings with the possibility or expectation of happiness. The ending of The Goblin Emperor is a good example: Maia and Csethiro are likely to end up very happily married, but at the end of the book they are friends and allies and partners, and for now that’s enough.
  • Cooking, food sharing, bonding over food. Recipes!
  • Autistic characters (canon or headcanon; Dairine Callahan comes to mind) who either come to terms with being autistic in the story, or have already figured it out and can handle it. Bonus points if they use their autistic traits to get things done.
  • More generally, disabled characters who work with their disability rather than “overcoming” it.
  • Religion (real-world or fictional) portrayed in a positive light, including people making light-hearted fun of their own religion.
  • Kidfic. Canon characters’ kids, canon characters when they were kids, canon characters who happen to be kids (Matilda), original canon-compliant child characters. Either POV or secondary characters.
  • Found family, chosen family.
  • Fluff. Domestic fluff, married fluff, established-lovers fluff, friendship fluff. Don’t worry if there seems to be no plot. One of the great strengths of fanfic is that it doesn’t necessarily have to have plot or conflict or any deeper meaning, though it may of course have any or all of those.
  • Discovery and detection. Plain detective work, casefic. Adventures in which people (children, for instance) find out things. People finding out things about themselves when they do something they didn’t know they could do.
  • Learning. School stories! Good or hilariously bad teachers. Give me a good training montage any day, or let someone teach themself. Achieving mastery by hard work.
  • Competence, intelligence, problem-solving, clever escape, clever (preferably non-violent) thievery. Self-rescuing princ(ess)es.
  • Missing-scene fic, interpolation, pre- and post-canon. (How did these characters get here? What was this person like as a student? What happens after the canon says The End?)
  • Cats, mice, meerkats, donkeys/mules/hinnies, elephants, birds (either as characters or supporting). Not “animals” as a category but specifically those.
  • Worldbuilding, with or without characters involved.
  • Fantasy nonfiction. Guidebooks, gazetteers, encyclopedia entries…

A note about crossovers

I used not to like crossovers at all, mostly because when I first started reading fanfic it was all about “I want to read more about X” and then I didn’t also want to read about Y. But I got better! I love crossovers between fandoms I’ve both (or all) requested, or with adjacent/compatible fandoms (will often end up as fusion), like The Great Mouse Detective with The Rescuers, or Lord Peter Wimsey with Miss Marple, when I’ve only requested one.

The greatest problem with crossovers is that if I know only one of the crossovered fandoms, the point may be completely lost on me, and it might spoil the whole story. I don’t know many of the really popular fandoms (Doctor Who or Supernatural, for instance). I don’t know many films, or any TV that’s been aired after, say, 1975. I don’t know anime or manga except Miyazaki, and not much of that.

To be on the safe side, find my profile (I’m sinkauli on ao3) and check my fandoms list and my gifts. If I write for it or have ever requested it, I’m bound to know it.

Dislikes

A lot harder because I don’t want to give the impression that I dislike everything. (But there’s enough that I do like in the list above that that impression is unlikely.) I’ll try to categorize.

Sex, romance

I don’t dislike sex! But I also don’t want any surprise sex sprung on me so I tend to request gen-only unless in very specific circumstances. I’m very picky. I’ve read some smutty stories that I liked but they were mostly joyful consent and vanilla sex. (Note that vanilla is a spice, a subtle and intense one, it doesn’t mean “bland”.) I’m not listing dislikes of particular kinks because, to be honest, for most kinky things people request or put in their likes or DNWs I don’t even know what the words mean. I’ve looked up some and almost invariably shuddered. So, mostly no kinks for me.

  • Rape, non-con. This is one of my hard DNWs. I consider it excluded when I exclude all sex, even though rape is usually not about sex but about power. I also dislike powerplay, hate-sex, and sex between people who are vastly disparate in age, power or experience.
  • Fellatio. (Makes me gag, even when it’s just words.) *deletes a sentence that’s all too explicit*
  • Casual sex without friendship. Includes PWP, I think. Casual sex in general, even between friends, is mostly a no-no.
  • Seduction for any other reason than that one person is in love with the other and is trying to get it across to them elegantly.
  • Soulmates, the trope with explicit markings or similar, it’s okay for a character to say or think “we were made for each other”.
  • Love triangles. A fully explicit and consensual triangle falls under “polyamory” and see next bullet point.
  • Adultery, infidelity. This includes contradicting, ignoring or breaking up a canonical pairing for the sake of a ship.
    Polyamory is okay but I don’t really prefer it.
  • Incest. I don’t care what Boromir and Faramir were up to in their shared bedroom when they were boys. Cross-generation incest is worse.

Interpersonal stuff

  • Enemies-to-lovers. Even if it’s enemies-to-friends and then friends-to-lovers. Reconciling with your enemy: okay. Cautious friendship between former enemies: okay. Hopping into bed with someone who was once your enemy: nope.
  • Bigotry of any kind, unless fighting against it is a plot point. That includes homophobia, TERFness and other transphobia, sexism, racism, ableism, ageism and anything I’ve forgotten.
  • Religion-bashing, against religion in general, a specific faith or denomination, or bullying people because they’re religious; unless fighting against it is a plot point.
  • Abuse, particularly of people in a dependent relationship (children, elders, subordinates).
  • Pranks, practical jokes, humiliating people for the sake of it.

Disability, body issues

  • Pathological/medical view of autism or other neurodivergence, portraying it as something that needs to be fixed rather than as a characteristic of the person.
  • Disability as punishment, teaching-a-lesson or inspiration porn. Just let disabled people be people!
  • Discussions of disordered eating or weight (it’s completely okay if someone’s body type is part of the description, like mentioning that the person has dark skin or blue eyes or wears glasses or uses a wheelchair, but no fat-shaming or other judgmental language about weight please).
  • Gluttony, gross drunkenness (tipsy/merry is okay, maudlin is not), vomiting (whether from illness or overindulgence).
  • Body horror, torture, mutilation, gore, cannibalism.
  • Monstrous pregnancy, monster birth. Hard DNW.
  • Mpreg, which is a species of body horror in my book. Such a hard DNW that it will make me throw the virtual book against the virtual wall. (Ordinary pregnancy and childbirth is okay.)

Miscellaneous

  • Horror. Body horror is the worst, but any other horror is also a turnoff.
  • Werewolves, unless very well done. Vampires. Zombies. (Perhaps this falls under “body horror”.)
  • Unhappy endings, unresolved tragedy.
  • Current events, real-world contemporary politics. (Fantasy politics in an invented world is okay! Period politics in a story with historical background is okay!)
  • Suicide, suicidal ideation, depression.
  • Plague, pandemic, terminal illness. There’s enough of that in the real world that I don’t want to also read about it, not even about overcoming it.
  • Climate catastrophe, extinction, (post)apocalyptic anything. (Ditto, in fact.) Imminent/unavoidable destruction of a whole world or a significant part of it. A random natural disaster is probably okay if it’s not part of a pattern of impending catastrophe. (My 2020 Yuletide writer got that exactly right.)
  • Worldbuilding DNW: extra information about a setting that makes it less pleasant (“… but you didn’t know these sordid details”).

Fandom specifics and prompts

Alpennia – Heather Rose Jones

Characters: Any (Akezze Mainus, Anna Monterrez, Efriturik Attiliet, Tavit, Barbara Lumbeirt, Margerit Sovitre, Antuniet Chazillen, and Worldbuilding)

Please not above T-rated. I like friendship, teaching/learning, discovery, scholarship, exploring character interaction, women (and, in this case, men) being awesome. Please respect canonical pairings!

  • Anna and Efriturik friendship/tentative romance (HEA is hard, because there will be problems with the prince marrying an artisan who is moreover Jewish, but who knows). Please let Efriturik be a good guy who doesn’t take advantage of his position!
  • Barbara and Tavit explore masculinity and femininity; she crossdresses for utility, he is a trans man, how do they handle the dynamics individually and/or together?
  • Worldbuilding (and Anna Monterrez) (especially for Jewltide writers): explore Jewish culture in Alpennia, Anna’s background and family, the way she and her family handle living in a predominantly Catholic town.
  • Worldbuilding: Akezze and Margerit, and perhaps Barbara, doing scholarly things.
  • Worldbuilding: Antuniet and Anna doing alchemy.

Fare Well Edinburgh Hogmanay 2020 drone show

G- or T-rated; it’s of course possible to write drone porn but I’d rather not have it as a surprise.

  • Sentient drones, either each one individually or as a hive mind. Do the drones know what they’re portraying, are they in on the story, or is it merely a set pattern?
  • Perhaps this is an actual magical ritual to bring in the new year. I’d say “or to fend off evil” but that would have to be some kind of supernatural evil, or it might cause you to write pandemic and/or current affairs and both of those are in my dislikes (and pandemic even in my signup DNWs). And in that case, what other magic can be done with drones?
  • Now I have visions of a Drone Show/Young Wizards crossover, and if that’s your catnip please go ahead with it! I can imagine Kit understanding the drones and vice versa!

Lord Peter Wimsey – Dorothy Sayers

Characters: Any (Alexandra “Kitty” Climpson, Bredon Delagardie Peter Wimsey, Charles Parker, Gerald Wimsey Viscount St. George, Harriet Vane, Helen Duchess of Denver, Honoria Lucasta Dowager Duchess of Denver, Mary Wimsey, Mervyn Bunter, Peter Wimsey)

  • Miss Climpson being herself, on her own or with any of the others. I like casefic!
  • Silly Peter/Harriet fluff, domesticness, the sort of things that make Busman’s Honeymoon so much fun. Sex (not above M) is okay for this pairing only.
  • Jerry and Bredon cousin shenanigans. I’d love Jerry-survives-the-war fixit fic, too; we could have teenage Bredon and fully adult Jerry.

DNW: AU in which Harriet is guilty, or is convicted while innocent.

False Doctrine – Alice Degan

Characters: Any (Charlie Boult, Evgenia | Evvie, Elsa Nordqvist, Kit Underhill)

This seems to call for Christian or Christian-inspired magic/supernatural stuff: angels, apparitions, mysterious light, miracles. But anything else exploring these characters and their friendship/love is cool too!

  • More of Kit and Elsa becoming friends (or falling in love, but they’re friends first).
  • Kit and Elsa when they’re married, between the books. Kit/Elsa can go up to Mature. Perhaps a scene with kid!Sara.
  • Charlie and Evvie friendship missing scene, or investigating something post-canon. Charlie is Anglican and Evvie is Greek Orthodox, and both are well-versed in their respective practices, if you can do something with that you’ll make me very happy. No sex between these two, Charlie has a boyfriend (who is an angel, okay) and Evvie is celibate.

DNW: religion-bashing (mild blasphemy or people harmlessly making fun of their own religion is okay).

Duolingo Welsh Course

I haven’t done Duolingo Welsh, but I’ve done enough other languages with Duolingo (and read Duolingo fic) that I know every course has its hidden hilarious stories (Italian: “my uncles are clowns”, Spanish: “I am not the captain, I am the king”). I love Welsh, so I want to read those! Bilingual Welsh/English, if you can.

DNW: anything beyond T-rated.

Judge Dee Mysteries – Robert van Gulik

Characters: Any (Tao Gan, Chiao Tai, Dee Jen-djieh, Ma Joong)

What I like most about this is the culture and interaction between characters, not the mystery/puzzle as such. I can’t say I approve of all aspects of the culture (the misogyny, brr!) and if you can fix that without gross distortion of the setting I’ll be pleased but it’s not necessary. Sex isn’t necessary either, though in the F/F case not excluded. Please keep it M at most.

  • small mystery with a cute kid (in the vein of “Murder on New Year’s Eve” in the Judge Dee at Work collection)
  • implied or foreground F/F between women who are already friends (but not behind their husbands’ backs, please; let them be widows or courtesans or unmarried bluestockings)
  • the judge and/or his assistants going undercover

DNW: explicit sex, gore, on-page torture or execution.

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