fireshowers: (brown)
Monster ([personal profile] fireshowers) wrote2011-10-16 09:54 pm
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Dear Doer of Darkness :)

Hi there!
Firstly, thank you an immense bunch for offering to create for one of my requests. I'm super-excited for just about anything I receive, really. This is my first experience in gift-exchange so there's very little that would absolutely disappoint me, apart from that what isn't made with love. That kinda thing shows, right? :)

I wonder what I can include in this letter without coming off as too hard-to-please. I'm not a very regular resident of fandom, so I've read/seen nothing of what exists in any of these fandoms. My approach to texts (argh, right?) is usually academic, which is to say that while I'm aware of and open to all kinds of possibilities, I'm very concerned with the plausibility of them -- which *sigh* is to say that I become a little worried if the characters act wildly OOC. Being an Indian, I'm naturally aware of the social/cultural/historical aspects of all three fandoms. If you'd like to switch languages in your fic I'm good with it; except that Roman, Devanagari and Bengali (and Tamil, not of any relevance here) are the only scripts I read, so if you're switching to Urdu I'll prefer it written out in English. On the other hand, if you come from a completely different culture, I hope you have some idea of the background the fandom you're creating for. South Asia is a widely diverse region and, say, if you're inventing an OC, the name, the languages known, the level of acquaintance with 'Western' culture and so on can really make or break it.

Overall, I prefer character studies and psychological sketches more than active plots that deviate very far away from the canon. I don't dislike OCs, I'll gladly go with a reasonable range of non-canon romance, but I'd rather read about how a relationship germinates in the mind -- given the characters' circumstances -- than about people having sex. Please don't force romance where the canonical character doesn't seem too inclined to it. If you're doing art, I'll love if you add some background -- nothing elaborate, just something that imparts a sense of the space the people are in (even if that's psychological/dream space).

If I've begun to grate on your patience, you can stop reading this post right here. If you're just as sad as I am (hi-five?), here are a few fandom-specific preferences:

Khuda Kay Liye (2007)
In my formal request I had ticked Sarmad and Mary, but I'll also be interested in fic about Mansoor or Hussain Khan, if you want to write them. What interests me in this movie is not so much the more obvious background of 9/11 but the way how most of us South Asians grow up with so many fragments of belief systems balanced inside our heads, and how these collide and collapse at hours of crisis. You've lived your entire life around someone, sharing a number of common features (father-daughter, brother-brother), mutual love, bonding and so on, and then you wake up to realize that one small difference in opinion means the world inside their heads is not only entirely different from the world inside yours, it is even hostile and willing to make you bleed. More than large-scale communal or cultural difference, I'm interested in these life-changing differences between people who are otherwise very very close and/or similar to one another.
What I really hope you'll avoid with this fic is stereotyping of one kind or the other. All these four people are fairly complex and subtle and provide great scopes for in-depth character studies. A romantic review of Sarmad and Mary can be very exciting simply because it's so very difficult to pull that off correctly!


The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje
One of my lasting heartbreaks in this novel is the final chapter. The reasons why Kip and Hana must part and return to their own worlds are all very insurmountable, but they still leave that gap for inconsolation, don't they? Then there's very little about Kip's wife in the book, just a mention in a line. Very little about Kip's life before he happened in the novel. There's barely anything of the man he is among his own people, the man he sees himself as. There's that very unconventional career route of a sapper ending up becoming a doctor... the mindscape of an ex-veteran... historically, the self-image of a soldier from an enslaved nation participating in what is not his own war but the war of his rulers... I'd love some of these ideas taken up and explored.


The Ibis Trilogy - Amitav Ghosh
*sigh* This is a very historically diverse saga and ideally, I'd just prefer to not open my mouth about it and slink away quietly. If you're not acquainted with the background, there are very few pointers I can give you. This trilogy bases itself in a very obscure history. It mostly doesn't feature in school textbooks even in India and I'm very unaware myself. Mindscapes are, as usual, the safest way out. But there are tons of other possibilities out here... and in the absence of much historical documentation, you can really let your imagination run wild! Do just about as you please if you're writing/drawing about this one.
*Oh, if you're writing a back-story for Serang Ali, I've no clue about Malay, Indonesian and nearby languages. Lascar is alright, though! :P

If all this seems too scary or irritating please feel free to ignore me and go ahead with anything that inspires you, I promise to not bite! Looking forward to meeting and interacting with you at the end of the challenge,

with many many thanks once again,

[personal profile] fireshowers