Dear NPT Author,
This is my first time on one of these exchanges, as that tentative little opening might have suggested, so we’ll start out with the reassurance that I am going to be incredibly hyped over having something written for me. No matter what you do with it. You don’t have a low bar to clear: there’s no bar at all.
Some general preferences
Yes, please – extra/missing scenes which fit the gaps of canon; unbreakable friendships; teamwork; standing battered but triumphant; character introspection; a touch of the bittersweet; any other characters you want to add that I haven’t already discussed or nominated.
No, thank you – In general, a lot of the common plug-and-play AUs which significantly alter the background of the setting (e.g. ABO, D/s, vampires/werewolves, Hogwarts/school, daemons, total de-powering rather than just backgrounding supernatural elements) – I like a lot of these series not just for their characters but also for their worlds and the effect those worlds then have on their characters. If you’re hit really hard by a generic modern AU, that’s something I can take though. Character bashing: a villainous story role is fine; it’s when the author is clearly frustrated with a character and taking it out on them that I tune out. G!P is not my kink.
Rating – from General to Explicit, it's fine. Whatever feels right for your inspiration and story. Serious gore or fetishes are a turn off, but I can handle most of what you’re throwing at me. My prompts generally land on the more chaste side of things but, if you’re going unprompted or just feel like it fits your story, I have no objection to smut.
I'm Seika on AO3, and I have my works and some of my bookmarks public, often with notes on them, so you can glance through those if you're inclined to keep researching my bad taste.
Obviously, by the terms of the exchange, everything here is optional. Still, where I’ve thrown out some more detailed prompts below, I’ve marked them as extra-optional because that’s precisely what they are. I'm trying to help spark off some thoughts if you aren't immediately seized by one, not to confine you. Don’t strain something trying to fit your writing into my ideas, please.
Now, with apologies for the length ...
Daja, Briar, Sandry, Tris
Overview: Broadly, I’m going to be happy with whatever I get from these four, because I love the Circle dearly. While I won’t object to the characters going through a little angst along the way, I would definitely prefer this one to at least end on a happy and fluffy note.
Extra-optional prompt: I was interested in the idea from Daja’s Book/The Fire in the Forging of the Circle’s powers bleeding into one another, and was kind of sad that it actually got straightened out. Working with that would make me happy, whether you want to go with events around the time that their powers are canonically mixing, pretend that this never got neatly fixed and they had to work with it, or just imagine that there’s a resurgence of the phenomenon somewhere down the line for whatever reason.
Shipping: Go mad with gen or whatever set of ships you like, including the full foursome.
Overview: We haven’t got a whole lot on these two and their relationship: the major narrative sources in English right now are this chapter from Fate/Zero, this scene from Hollow Ataraxia, and this extract from the Garden of Avalon book. There’s also Guinevere’s entry from the Fate/Zero encyclopaedia, but it conflicts somewhat with Garden of Avalon (thus getting trumped both by latest release and by Nasu > Urobuchi) and might be a bit too confining, so feel free to ignore as much of it as you want. That is, of course, all just the canon background, so please do deviate and alter outcomes as your 'fic demands. Basically, there's a good deal of room for exploring and interpreting Artoria and Guinevere's relationship, and I'd just like to see what you come up with, whether it's joy or pain.
Extra-optional prompts: Maybe you just want to show a day in the life of Camelot’s royal couple, attending to their business. Maybe you want to write up the wedding described in that Hollow scene in more detail. Maybe you want to deal with the revelation of Artoria’s gender and the resulting fallout: whether Guinevere was told early that her wedding was to a secret woman and so was expecting it to be childless and likely loveless; or she found out on the wedding night; or Artoria somehow put it off for a time until she felt secure in telling her Queen the truth – or it ended up getting found out by accident. (I would appreciate eliding the canon idea that Merlin enchanted Artoria with a set of male genitalia because it’s pretty ???. Exclude it or just gloss over it as you wish).
If you’re not interested in going full Nasuverse Arthuriana, then Artoria reminiscing to one of her Grail War Masters about her wife/marriage sounds fun too. If you’re more on the Zero side of the fandom, there’s your opening to use Kiritsugu or Iri and the Fourth War's scenario.
Shipping: It seems reasonably clear from Garden of Avalon that Artoria and Guinevere had come to love each other at least platonically by the time Camelot fell, but I’d certainly like a hint of romantic/sexual attraction from one party to another as well. Whether you want to have Guinevere pining after her apparently emotionless husband, Artoria’s detachment being tested by her lovely bride, or actual mutual romance – eventually revealed and requited or not – is up to you. (If you really feel like it, Lancelot is around for extra relationship complications and there’s fair grounds for him being in love with Artoria as well as Guinevere).
Other notes: I would prefer the focus to stay on Artoria and Guinevere. Lancelot is obviously likely (though by no means certain) to have his part in anything related to the two of them, but I’d rather the camera was mainly centred on the King and Queen here, and less on whatever craziness Sir du Lac is up to.
Overview: I don’t know whether I like Lightning and Vanille’s relationship in-game, so much as I like all the potential I see in it. At any rate, there’s definitely something that grabs me about Lightning interacting with another shade-of-red-haired little sister figure, and everything else that comes along with Vanille.
Extra-optional prompts: On Lightning’s side, to what degree might Lightning have seen Serah in Vanille? How did that change as time went on? How long did Lightning take to get an inkling (if she ever did before that blew up) that Vanille wasn’t letting on about everything, that she wasn’t as innocent and carefree as she was trying to be?
On Vanille’s side, how far did she compare Lightning and Fang – these two big sisters who nonetheless seem so very opposite at first? Vanille herself fought a war, however briefly: does she have any particular reaction to or reservation about Light being a member of the Guardian Corps?
I by no means expect you to try to answer all of those questions, or even pass over them, but they’re an indication of what I think has interest and potential. Points of comparison and of contrast for the characters.
Shipping: I’d prefer this being romantic, but gen’s fine too.
Other notes: Whether you’d like to put this somewhere in XIII or after it is up to you, but I’ll warn you that I haven’t got around to more than the very beginnings of XIII-2 or LR, so if you involve stuff from there I’m probably going to be lost. I’m not a spoiler-hound, so feel free to use elements from as you like, but be aware that they might not land properly.
Greek & Roman Mythology
Overview: Leto’s children interact curiously little in Greek myth, so I’d like to see a little more of them as a unit, whether actually doing something together or just one/another/both contemplating each other and their sibling relationship. If you want a start, Pindar’s take on the Koronis episode is one of the times the two do come together, so you might receive and react to that in your writing, or create your own version. (That's in his Third Pythian Ode, which has a reasonable translation here, albeit one you should definitely edit line breaks into to make it actually readable if you’re looking over it; Theoi has some alternative versions of the myth here).
Being Greek or Roman is fine by me, if you feel more comfortable with Diana than Artemis.
Extra-optional prompts: Certain ways in which Apollo is described in the Iliad have led to a theory that Helios was originally the sole Greek sun god, and that Apollo – the ‘lord of the silver bow’ who ‘came on like the night’ – was as much the moon god as his sister was the moon goddess. Over time, people found it more satisfying to assign Apollo to the Sun instead – the duality of the twins moving from being near-copies to mirrors – and Helios was gradually forced to budge over in favour of the more popular god. This may or may not hold much water, but it interests me and I’d encourage you to think about it. Maybe you’d like to present it as truth; maybe you’d like to portray some kind of divine transition by Apollo from Moon to Sun; maybe it’s simple a ‘could have been’.
Shipping: Artemis is a staunch virgin but, remembering that, do pretty much as you like with the gods.
Other notes: I am a Classicist by trade, so I’ll appreciate nods to the original epics and hymns and so forth particularly. Getting too modern with the interpretation will make it harder for me to connect with.
As an example, it's impossible for us to avoid condemning Zeus as a philandering rapist from the body of myths we have. (The same indeed goes for most of the gods). Nevertheless, Greek thought mostly stretched to him as a just lord of the heavens, wise in council, protector of travellers, and so on, with his misdemeanours backgrounded or somehow confined to a long-gone past. When Sextus Empiricus poses the question "How could a god be evil?", he expects an immediate answer of "They can't". Thus, if you're going to involve humans in a historical context, I'd prefer their interpretation of divine events to broadly match that, rather than trying to anachronistically moralise over the king of the gods (up to the point at which Christians appear and start pointing fingers, at any rate). On the other hand, if this is kept purely mythological, then you can certainly feel free to assume we're still in that disappeared past, and be as scathing as you please.