miramira: book stack (Default)
[personal profile] miramira
Hi! Thanks for writing for me. Feel free to poke around my journal; there are plenty of other letters here to choose from to give you an idea of my likes and dislikes.

As you may have gathered from my song selections, I tend to be drawn to plot and characters over more impressionistic material. I also like dialogue, using humor to lighten the mood, little worldbuilding details, and protagonists who have to make difficult choices. I'm particularly fond of sci-fi and fantasy scenarios, though that's very much an "optional details are optional." I also like crossovers, so if you want to mash up my requests and send the couple from "The Way" to the Hotel California or something like that, go for it. Or not. Entirely your call.

In terms of romance, I will never have a problem with a gen story, and I tend to prefer het or femslash over slash or poly arrangements. If you're going to include any sex scenes, I'd like them to be part of a larger narrative rather than the entire point of the story, and I'll take awkward or imperfect encounters over something that's hot but could feature any two characters banging as opposed to these particular characters any day. I'd also like to keep things between consenting adults, or at least keep any graphic details offscreen and preferably relegated to backstory.

My one firm do not want is graphic description of torture, especially if that torture comprises the bulk of the story. That doesn't mean bad things can't happen, or that there has to be a happy ending, but I'd like there to be a purpose to any suffering the characters go through beyond simply seeing what more you can put them through.

Okay, on to the prompts. Please don't take length as an indication of my relative enthusiasm for these songs: if it's on here, I promise I'm excited to see what you come up with. Have fun, and I look forward to reading!

Creepy Doll - Jonathan Coulton
It's got a ruined eye that's always open...

To me, the creepy thing about this song is not the doll, but that the protagonist seems aware s/he's trapped in a horror story and where it's headed. So why doesn't s/he try to escape? Does this feel familiar because it's happened before, either when the protagonist was a child or as part of some kind of nightmare Groundhog Day loop? Is the big city money stolen? Is this one of the few places left untouched by the zombie apocalypse or robot war? And why, oh why, is tea with honey the thing that makes the protagonist finally decide this has to end?

If you want to go more for humor than horror, feel free; I think this setup has a lot of twisted Odd Couple potential. Also feel free (though by no means obligated) to work in other Jonathan Coulton songs; I've provided a couple of suggestions above, but there are plenty of others that could work if you go that route.

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves - Cher
She was born in the wagon of a traveling show...

The family dynamic in this song is the real draw for me, so I'd be interested in a story putting that center stage. Maybe a prequel starring Papa and how he met Mama, or the time one of his attempted grifts nearly got everyone into real trouble and how they got out of it. Or something featuring the protagonist as a little girl just starting to realize what the townspeople have to say about her and her family, and how she handles that. Or flash forward and focus on the daughter born at the end of the song: does she wind up carrying on the family tradition in her own way, or find a different path? And whatever choice she makes, how do she and the family feel about it?

Hotel California - The Eagles
You can check out any time you like...

Yeah, yeah, I know, drug addiction metaphor. Don't care. I'm looking for something that explores the hotel - or whatever it really is - as an actual place, albeit one that maybe doesn't inhabit this reality. Was it designed for a specific purpose, and if so, to what extent is it (still) being monitored? Are the staff in on it, or simply "programmed," or "prisoners" themselves? Does the hotel possess any self-awareness of its own? Is there anything special about the patrons it attracts, or is it just a matter of bad(?) timing for them? And why is there champagne, but no wine?

I have a lot of questions, obviously, but no answers. I look forward to seeing yours.

Scarborough Fair/Canticle - Simon & Garfunkel
Remember me to one who lives there...

Most of the commentary I've read on this song treats the Canticle as superfluous. And while the original folk song obviously works fine without it, I think it adds an interesting tension and air of menace. Are the tasks impossible because the lover is dead, or otherwise unable to return? How is the true love going to get around that? Should she? Or you could focus on the inspiration for the Canticle, and treat the tasks as metaphors for someone trying to bring his/her/gender-neutral pronoun of your choice sweetheart home from the war (whether that war is a Crusade or Vietnam or some far-off future conflict) by any means necessary. Whether the lover wants to come back may be another question entirely, of course.

Seven Devils - Florence + The Machine
I was dead when I woke up this morning...

Some of these songs conjure up very clear mental images for me. This one, not so much. But who cares, because dear Lord, it is epic. Devils! Kingdoms! A protagonist who is possibly undead! Or maybe just plain dead, if this is an actual attempted coup in Hell, which I would not rule out in the slightest. At the very least, the situation seems to call for one major exorcism.

Of course, I suppose it's possible the protagonist is dealing with an awful breakup, or a really nasty bout of depression. Which, while maybe not as outwardly epic (though it could make for some interesting fantasy sequences), certainly calls for its own brand of heroism.

The Way - Fastball
You can see their shadows wandering off somewhere...

So where were they going? Did they ever get there? If so, were they happy about it? And perhaps most importantly, who were they? An ordinary suburban couple, escaping their dull lives (and possibly their marriages)? Celebrities, desperate to dodge the paparazzi and experience a normal life for a bit? Escapees from a cult? Explorers? Criminals? Spies? Superheroes? Aliens? Something else entirely?

Then again, you don't have to focus on them at all. At least not directly. The kids did get left behind - and maybe they deserved it, but I kinda doubt that. There are bound to be some stories to tell from that perspective, too.

(And yes, in case you're curious, there are real answers and a real incident behind all of these questions. I'm not going to say it can't be mined for inspiration - though be warned, it's depressing - but I'd like to avoid straight-up RPF.)
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