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Dear Yuletide Writer 2017
SSar's Beast
morbane
Hi, and thanks for your interest in my letter, whether you're considering writing for me or just curious about my prompts!

This year for Yuletide, I've asked for:
  • Drive Angry, a 2011 standalone supernatural/action B-movie;

  • Pegasus, a YA fantasy novel that is the first book, but probably the only book, in an incomplete trilogy by Robin McKinley;

  • The Shadow, a 1994 superhero movie based on a radio drama + pulp novels (I only know the movie);

  • Simoun, a 26-episode fantasy/war anime from 2006;

  • Soon I Will Be Invincible, a standalone light sci-fi/superhero novel by Austin Grossman;

  • and Sucker Punch, a 2011 standalone fantasy(?)/action movie.


Crossovers or fusions between these fandoms, or between one of these fandoms and another rare fandom I know, are welcome.

On AO3 my username is Morbane.


Do-Not-Wants: harm to hands, addiction and substance abuse, amnesia.

General likes


I love original characters, outsider character perspectives, and worldbuilding. I love competence and loyalty. I like uplifting and hopeful messages, and protagonists who champion them. I also like genuinely terrible characters and tragic arcs, and villains with strong motivations and critiques of the protagonists' goals. Characters are welcome in any shade of grey. I like seeing characters screw up and then learn (or not) from their mistakes. I love magical realism, dramatic weather, trains, telepathy, and dragons. I like getting a strong sense of time or place. For porn, I love xeno, voyeurism, dubcon, noncon, telepathy, praise kink, and awkward-but-not-emotionally-disastrous sex; intense oh-god-I-can't-believe-it's-so-good sex; gentle and loving sex. I love emotional intimacy whether or not it comes with physical intimacy. I love mentors and protegé(e) relationships, and relationships between characters who are juggling multiple identities. I love seeing the relationship between two characters at one point in time, and then seeing it again when the relationship is very different. I'm just as interested in break-ups as get-togethers. I like Big Damn Hero moments, and also days in the life, or stories about people who are just trying to make it by in a weird world. I love it when authors incorporate something about which they have specialized knowledge, however mundane that thing is.

You're welcome to write in past or present tense, and in first, second, or third person. Epistolary and found-media formats are welcome.


Drive Angry (2011)


John Milton (Drive Angry), The Accountant (Drive Angry)

From my sign-up: This B-movie is simultaneously completely over the top and absurdly nonchalant about its plot and the things it expects you to take in its stride. I love that John Milton gets more and more blasé and deadpan the more ridiculous his activities are, from a mid-coitus gunfight to trying to stop the end of the world with... a car.

I also love The Accountant: his complete lack of concern for human propriety combined with flashes of empathy and immense curiosity. I love that he has fun on the job.

And he and John have immense chemistry. Please, please, take the Accountant's curiosity in a natural direction. Or maybe John tries to seduce his way out of Hell. Or they have to work together and their differences only add to the sexual tension.

Despite all the above, this is actually an or request! You do not have to include both characters if you don't want to. I am really curious to see John's life explored, not just his afterlife. What happened? How did he get the gun and get out of Hell? What made him the kind of person who could do that? Serious, ridiculous, either way. And the Accountant, TELL ME ABOUT HIM. Tell me about a previous assignment. Tell me about his conversations with the Devil, a 'quiet man actually, thoughtful ... well read'. What does he do when not chasing escaped sinners? (Surely they don't escape very often...)

Additional optional thoughts: With Milton/The Accountant, part of the appeal is in dialling it up to 11. Both of them are physically superhuman - John appears to have some kind of healing factor (at least on Earth?) (or maybe it's to allow him to be endlessly tortured in Hell?) and the Accountant has unbelievable strength as well as other tricks. I love the idea that John can't be sure the Accountant won't casually break him in half. I also love the idea that the Accountant might have zero human sexual experience - I'd love it if he brought a somewhat alien perspective to the encounter - though it also might be fun if he surprises John by being very experienced. (Sexual prowess competition! It could be hilarious.) I am so up for either of them impressing the other or being taken by surprise about how much they're into it.

Also: what is that gun? Does Hell have a treasury of far-too-powerful objects? Is it security against Heaven? What is the relationship between Heaven and Hell in this universe?

Another super tangential thing I'd be into: John's granddaughter grows up to be some kind of kick-ass destroyer of the supernatural. Possibly Milton appears to her occasionally, or The Accountant checks in on her every now and then?



Pegasus - Robin McKinley


Characters: Ebon, Sylvi

From my sign-up: I love Ebon and Sylvi's close partnership, how each of them thinks the other is the best thing ever, and how excited each is to show the other their world. Include romance or don't, include sexual feelings or don't, just please keep the emphasis on how important each is to the other. I could really go for one of them saving the other from peril. Or write me Sylvi and Ebon working on a normal activity together and using different respective skills. I love the cosy aspects of the worldbuilding - skyholds and dams and fine pegasus paper. More please.

Obviously fix-it for the end of the book is welcome, but I'd also be interested in seeing how Ebon and Sylvi grow and change if they have to spend a long time apart.

I'm also fascinated by the weird comedy of manners whereby the human culture is smothered in meaningless ritual, and yet there's a dark core to it where maybe it really is protecting them from something. What's really going on? TELL ME. Tell me whether rocs really come from another world and why pegasi and humans are Inherently Inimical. What's the real story with Fthoom?

And if you want to sideline Sylvi and Ebon entirely, I'm interested in any of the following: Minial and what it's like to be a Speaker; Redfora and Oraan; Erisika; a similar historical minor character. I'd love it if you used a minor character to expand the hints we get about the history and world.

Additional optional thoughts: Mostly I just want to know more. I have this entirely silly theory about the rocs and what they mean to the pegasi - if any of that appeals to you, please run with it, but if not, the only relevant takeaway is that it fascinates me to try to put together what clues McKinely gave us about this world. So the magicians are trying to prevent humans and pegasi from coming too close? Surely this is covering up for something. And what on earth is that underground sea?

Maybe either Ebon or Sylvi learns something that Changes Everything, and for at least a brief time, they can't let the other know. Tragedy! I'd love it if separating Ebon and Sylvi really came back to bite the wizards, but I'd also enjoy a story in which Fthoom is some kind of tragic hero (maybe still also an arrogant bully, though) and he's actually kind of right. Maybe run with the idea that a lie is the strongest when mixed with truth? Maybe Fthoom believes everything he's said. Maybe the rocs do too. But even so, maybe there's another way.

Totally different idea: maybe the humans and pegasi didn't form such a close alliance when they first discovered each other. Maybe the pegasi said, "Great! You're welcome to this land, just keep the taralians down, please. We'll be over thataway. Bye!" It's not as if the humans ever go fight the pegasi predators in the actual pegasus territory. Maybe the cultures had as little contact as possible - until, somehow, Ebon and Sylvi happened.


The Shadow (1994)


Characters: Margo Lane, Lamont Cranston

From my sign-up: TELEPATHS IN LOVE. Wow I love these two together. I love how strong-willed they both are, and yet how each of them can change his or her mind and concede to the other. I love how clearly they realise that each has skills they can use.

Would love to see them working together; would love to see Margo develop her powers; would love days in the life. I get a sense from the movie of Margo as a character, how she thinks and reacts, but what does she do all day?

Optionally, would also love Shiwan Khan to be a part of the story. Because the Shiwan/Lamont chemistry was through the roof. How about Shiwan does convince Lamont to rule the world with him, and Margo, part of a Resistance, believes that she can seduce Lamont back to the light?

Overall this is a great canon for darker fic or fic that explores the ethical underbelly of vigilantism. Lamont can control minds. When is he most tempted to abuse that? And on the lighter side of dark, does he ever try to make amends in Tibet, or only through his actions in New York?

Additional optional thoughts: As bonus extras, I'd love references to real events and places and cultures in 1930s New York. I'd love it if Margo got to swan about wearing something pretty - her dresses in the movie were so, so pretty.

There's a throwaway reference to The Shadow having a network not just in New York or even America, but all around the world. How about he and Margo travel together? For another plot, maybe one of them has to confuse the other for reasons of a mission - for example, Lamont needs Margo to temporarily forget she knows him. (Amnesia DNW is waived here or for similar things.) Or maybe: Shiwan Khan hasn't lost all of his powers. Slowly recovering, he seeks to turn Margo and Lamont against each other.

Or, for canon-divergence ideas: maybe it takes them a while after the end of the movie to become lovers, rather than just crime-fighting partners and secret-keepers. I'd love to see a slow-burn version of their relationship!


Simoun (Anime)


Characters: Dominuura, Paraietta

From my sign-up: Just one of these two characters is fine! I picked the two who interest me most as individual characters and as ways into the world of Simulacrum.

Paraietta so often is placed in the position of holding everyone else together - though her own feelings are obviously so messy. I'd love a story of what life was like for her in Choir Tempest before the catastrophe at the start of the series. I'd also love more exploration of how she gets to the point we see her at at the end of the series. We do get to see her actions and opinions but I feel like a story that focuses on her would be interesting and awesome. I'd rather no requited Paraietta/Neveril, but other shipping for Paraietta is welcome.

Dominuura! When she showed up with her mysterious faction connections I thought she was going to be some sort of villainess; I'm still fascinated about her political ties. MORE PLEASE, MORE EVERYTHING. Except please no Dominuura/Limone - please keep that platonic or offscreen. What was it like for her to join Choir Tempest? What was her previous choir like? What else about sybillae did she learn from her grandfather?

And please, more about the world! More about what life is like in the mundane world, on the ground - what the sybillae know of that world, and what that world knows of them. Be my guest if you want to explore gender issues in this canon; the set-up is so fascinating.

Additional optional thoughts: Other characters I'd be interested in: Yun, the Plumbish priestesses, Amuria. If you want to worldbuild, especially, with any of them, that would be fantastic.

I'm so fascinated to imagine what gender even means to a people who all begin with the same default gender. Especially when that isn't universal across the world. What informs what is considered male or female? Why would someone choose one or the other? Is sexuality still innate - like, might someone choose to become a man because they know the love of their life is primarily attracted to men? Is there a historical bias because the system of the Spring didn't always exist? Though that could play out in really tragic ways, so I'd also be happy with an everyone-is-pansexual scenario.

Exploration of gender can be a complicated thing to ask for, or to try to write. Good luck! Please try to avoid making this story a pointed lesson about how gender works in our world. I appreciate your efforts either way.


Soon I Will Be Invincible - Austin Grossman


Doctor Impossible, Fatale, Lily

From my sign-up: I would love any two of these characters to appear.

Events from Lily's perspective would be rad. What kind of things did she get up to in her villain phase? What did the school and university years look like to her? Is there a kernel of truth to her supervillain origin story? I would love Fatale & Lily hanging out: maybe give me missing scenes in canon that take on more significance later, though I'd also love to see them meet up months or years after the book, on a different footing to how we left them.

I'd also love to see Lily and Doctor Impossible together - for whatever quality of together, enemies, friends, lovers, none of the above. What did she see in him? Or Fatale and Doctor Impossible meeting up, either having difficult, awkward, spiky, interesting conversations, or being forced to work together for some reason, or matching wits on opposite sides of a mission. Is there an AU in which Fatale is on the side of evil or chaos and Lily and Dr Impossible are on the side of order or good?

And as well as something with spiky, adversarial character dynamics, I'd also love something that tended towards crack or fluff. Fatale has to rescue either Lily or Dr Impossible from a plan gone wrong. Hopefully a ridiculous plan. Dr Impossible tries to recruit Fatale with a false identity. One of them provides an emotional perspective the other needs. Etc.

Additional optional thoughts: I'd also love encounters with any throwaway-line character or event, like the private investigator with centaur hooves, or various jaunts around the solar system. I'd love a story about Galatea instead of the characters I've selected, if you prefer.

More about cyborgs in general would be great. Does Fatale find herself allied with someone else like her (or, even, someone modelled after her)? Is what she was told about her backstory true, and does she find more about it, or is the truth even weirder?


Sucker Punch (2011)


Rocket (Sucker Punch), Sweet Pea (Sucker Punch)

From my sign-up: This is a polarising movie and I'm one of the people who really enjoys it. I love the different fantasy worlds and the bitter, brutal glamour of the club; I love Baby Doll's and Sweet Pea's grief and anger that carries through the asylum setting. I love the way the themes of self-actualization and sacrifice are used.

I'd love backstory for Rocket and Sweet Pea (extrapolating from canon, or completely AU if you want), or some kind of fix-it fic, for Rocket especially or for as many people and situations as you can manage. I'd love if you treated a different world than the asylum or the brothel as the "real" world, or gave Rocket and Sweet Pea their own unusual perspectives on the various worlds - how did they see the places they were transported to? Was every woman in a different universe, working in parallel, perhaps? I'd love if if you invented an entirely new world for our heroines to perform daring missions in. And I'd love an exploration of why Sweet Pea is the film's first and final girl.

Setting AUs, especially unusual settings (circus? angels vs. demons? a faerie court?) would be as welcome as canon divergence AUs; feel free to remix the whole movie to give me something that hits certain plot points or characters or parts of the setting I can recognize, but is otherwise quite radically different.

Additional optional thoughts: You're welcome to give me a story that fits my prompts but is mostly about Baby Doll or Amber or Blondie - though I'd prefer Rocket and Sweet Pea play an important part. You're welcome to disregard the final scene between Baby Doll and the High Roller; I tended to prefer what the film said without it, and as it was unrated, it wasn't part of the movie I saw first in cinemas.

No incest please for this canon.

I loved the moment Sweet Pea broke the fourth wall to criticise the trope of "sexy" mental health patient; I'd love any other moment in which she or another character saves herself by literally refusing to be part of a narrative. Or is there a moment when being genre-savvy saves them?

What's the motivation of the Old Man? Is he a real, separate person who sees all the world, or entirely imaginary? If imaginary, why is he the figure Baby Doll imagines?

This entry is also posted at https://morbane.dreamwidth.org/37754.html. There are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment either here or there.

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