beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
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[archiveofourown.org profile] ssr_confidential_2017 is a fanfic exchange for Agent Carter, with fic, vids, and art being exchanged.

DON'T PANIC.

This is a very long letter with lots of stuff, but please don't let that intimidate you.  I'm actually fairly easy to please; I am very rarely disappointed with a ficathon story.  I write long and detailed Dear Author letters because I find such things helpful when I'm writing for other people; if you are like me, here you go!  If your style is different and a detailed letter makes you feel hemmed-in, feel free to do what works for you.

The most important thing for me in a fic is that the characters are well-written and recognizably themselves.  Even when I don't like a character, I don't go in for character-bashing.  If nothing else, if the rest of this letter is too much or my kinks just don't fit yours, just concentrate on writing a good story with everyone in character and good spelling and grammar and I will almost certainly love what you come up with.

One thing: I do have an embarrassment squick, which makes humor kind of hit-or-miss sometimes.  The kind of humor where someone does something embarrassing and the audience is laughing at them makes me uncomfortable because I identify too much with the person getting laughed at, so instead of being funny it is squicky.  On the other hand, the kind of humor where the audience is laughing with the characters I really enjoy.

If you want to make me the happiest recipient ever, here are some other things to keep in mind (not all of which will apply to all fandoms): I like strong women, and I love the acknowledgment that strength comes in many forms, of which the kinds put forward by modern western feminism are only a few.  I like cultural diversity, and to know that culture matters to people, but I don't like it when non-western culture is fetishized or exoticised.  I like quirky characters.  I like unreliable narrators.  I like acknowledgment that different people can have different points of view without either of them being wrong.  I like stories that engage with problematic aspects of the source, and which deal with privilege in one way or another.  If you don't know what I mean by privilege, here are a few links: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, and possibly the Spock/Uhura Racefail Prevention Post and associated links.

I like plotty, gen stories, and plotty stories in general, but I don't like explicit sex, particularly when it's just thrown in for teh porn.  If there's going to be sex, there needs to be a reason for it within the story--it advances the plot, or characterization, or something (and, again, if you have to do it, please don't make it explicit).  I'm asexual; a lot of the time I don't even bother to read the sex scenes.  Romance is awesome (as long as both are in character and the romantic plot doesn't hinge on one or both of them being an idiot), but sex-for-the-sake-of-sex is pretty boring to me.  I generally prefer no slash.

I love worldbuilding.  Sometimes I find exploring the corners of a world or universe to be as fun (or sometimes more fun) than reading stories set in it.  I want to know what's behind the curtain.  I love hearing about the economics, the politics, the religion, the clothing, the history, all of that kind of stuff.  And I want to know why it matters--how is all this cultural background stuff affecting the characters, the plot, everything.  You don't have to do deep worldbuilding, but I'll probably enjoy it if you do.

I enjoy crossovers, if you would like to write one, but prefer them with fandoms I'm familiar with (check my tags).  I have kind of a high bar for crossovers, though.  Either the two universes have to fit together very well or it should be hilarious crackfic.  Examples: I can buy Jack O'Neill finding out about slayers and paying Rupert Giles a visit.  I can buy the Criminal Minds team investigating "notorious terrorist" Sarah Connor. I can buy the Doctor showing up just about anywhere. I don't buy B5 suddenly appearing next to DS9 because the Star Trek universe and the B5 universe are just too different from one another.  If it's not plausible that the two fictional universes coexist or (within the world of the two universes) that they could meet through a portal/wormhole/whatever, I tend to spend most of the fic going "wait, what?" instead of enjoying it.

I like AUs, but not complete AUs (i.e. no highschool or college or coffee shop AUs, etc.).  I like fork-in-the-road type AUs, where one thing is different and the changes all result from that one thing, and you explore what might have been if such-and-such happened.  Crackfic is really hit and miss for me, sometimes I love it and sometimes I can't stand it.  Basically, if it's the characters we know and love in an insane situation, that's okay.  If they're OOC or parodied in order to make something funny ... it's not funny to me.  I like angst, but not complete and unrelieved angst, and not angst of the type that people cause themselves, i.e. "I love him/her/it but he/she/it could never love me, so I will go off in a corner and cry rather than talk about it and take a chance on a possibility of relationship!" just makes me roll my eyes.  Yes, I know people do it in real life, but it annoys me there too.  Please no apocafic.
 

Specifics!
Peggy Carter.  Peggy is so much fun, and I love every aspect of her.  I particularly would enjoy casefic, but I would also enjoy her hanging out with friends (Angie, Edwin and Ana, Rose, any of the Howling Commandos are the ones I'd be most happy about.  Howard, Daniel, and Dr. Wilkes I wouldn't mind.  Jack Thompson I don't like.)  And I would also welcome Peggy/Steve, set during the war, flashbacks, AU where he gets rescued, whatever.  If you were going to do a fanvid of her, Pistol Packin' Mama by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters would be AWESOME.  For Peggy/Steve, the obvious song for a fanvid would be It's Been A Long, Long Time (the song that Nick Fury put on in Steve's apartment in Cap2, it would also be a perfect Steve/Bucky fanvid) (My favorite cover of that song is the one linked, Harold Arlen's orchestra with Kitty Kalen on vocals).

Peggy and Angie.  Peggy and Angie are a lot of fun together, and I'd love to see shenanigans with the two of them.  Does Angie ever get caught up in an SSR case?  Does Peggy get caught up in shenanigans Angie is doing trying to get a role on Broadway?  Does Peggy ever go back to NY, and if so, do they room together again?  Or maybe does Angie come west to try and break into Hollywood and meet up with Peggy there?

Dottie Underwood.  I am really interested in Dottie. What was the Red Room training like and how does it still affect her?  What was she doing between seasons 1 & 2? Are there other current Black Widows, and what happened to the other girls she was training with?  Is she still a Red Room agent or on her own now, and what's the larger backing to the Red Room (KGB, HYDRA, general Soviet villainy)?  How does all this fits into the larger MCU framework?  Does she ever join up with the nascent HYDRA in the SSR?  Does her fascination with Peggy ever wax and wane?  Does she ever work with the Winter Soldier?

Whitney Frost.  I have a lot of sympathy for her: not for the actions she ultimately takes, but for the frustrations that drive her.  The ep with her backstory made me wonder if she was a victim of some sort of sexual abuse, both with her "uncle" and later that first agent, but I don't insist on that interpretation.  (Goes cold and still around him, "I don't like him" but won't say why--could easily be a child testing the waters, what is acceptable to say about the abuse she's experienced.)  Also, how much of what we see of her (and Wilkes) behavior in season 2 is warped/driven by the gunk in them?  If you do something post!season2, though, it shouldn't be an easy redemption, nothing swept under the carpet or glossed over.  (Explanation is not excuse, and I am very much of the "cool motive, still murder" school.)  If you're going to do an AU for Whitney, I'd be curious to see one where she hooked up with Howard Stark instead of/in addition to being a movie star.  Howard's a dick, but his reaction to competent women seems to be "awesome, let's work together, can we create something," which Whitney desperately needs.  Or what if, during the war, she managed to get herself into the SSR as a scientist?  What changes, what stays the same?  If she no longer has to kill people to get to do the science she really wants to do, how does that change her as a person?  (I would think that depends on when they meet, how much sexism/creepy guys she's had to put up with to get where she is.  Like, young!Whitney just starting out wants nothing more than to do science, whereas post!season2!Whitney is a lot more complex.  If you do a fanvid for Whitney, The Rules of the Road by Cy Coleman would be a great song for her.  (I like Rosemary Clooney's recording of it linked here, but Lena Horne also did an awesome recording of it.)  But if some other song inspires you, go for it.

Rose Roberts.  She loves California!  She loves her job!  She's such a cheerfully competent character!  I WANT LOTS OF GREAT FIC ABOUT HER SAVING THE DAY THROUGH STEREOTYPICAL MIDDLE-AGED FAT WOMEN SKILLS.  Like, she ALWAYS has just what you need in her large purse, and it serves as a great blunt object in a fight because it is SO HEAVY AND FULL OF STUFF that when she whacks you with it, you go DOWN.  I don't want anything depressing.  I want her to be happy and fulfilled and to have FUN.

Peggy Carter/Gabe Jones.
  This is the comics pairing, and I read a couple of AWESOME Peggy/Gabe fics early on, and really imprinted on the pairing.  I have been very "meh" about both the pairing options we were offered in season 2.  Where was Gabe during all this?  What is he doing, post War?  Does meeting up with Wilkes give Carter a nudge to go look him up again, or do they meet again on a case, or have they been corresponding this whole time?  What are some of the racial/sexist issues they're going to face as a couple in the late 40s?

Peggy Carter & Abraham Erskine.  They've got such different outlooks on life (Abraham gentle and impish almost, Peggy bold as brass and hard as nails), and yet share a fundamental hope that goodness is possible, that right will prevail despite all evidence to the contrary, that good men and women can make a difference.  You could go two ways.  First, what was their relationship like during the early part of the war?  When Erskine had fled Germany and Peggy was younger and (possibly) less polished than she was by the time of the show?  Second, what are the ways that Erskine's influence survives (or doesn't) in the later SSR and on into SHIELD?

Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandos.  "Do as Peggy says!"  Literally anything.  Shenanigans on base during the war!  Peggy joining the Commandos on a raid and punching a lot of things!  Howlies showing up and joining SHIELD, and/or tipping Peggy off to something she needs to investigate.



General songs that would make good fanvids for the show that I would love to receive even if they don't fit the characters/pairings I requested:
It Takes a Woman from Hello, Dolly is a hilarious song about the double standard of how women are supposed to be delicate and fragile, and yet do all this hard work that is necessary for anything to get done.
Hot Rod Mama by Ramblin Jimmy Dolan is a great twangy old-time song about a woman who isn't going to settle down because she loves rambling around, and the guy who loves her can't keep up with her.
A vid about jingoism, patriotism, and obfuscation could be set to "Motherhood" from Hello, Dolly
I'm not enough into Jarvis to want a fic about him, but I would LOVE a Jarvis vid to Stiff Upper Lip by the Gershwins (recorded by so many artists, you have a lot of selection.)
Imagine My Frustration is Ella Fitzgerald belting out her frustrations about being overlooked.  Could work for Peggy, Dottie, Whitney, Wilkes, any or all of them.
One of the things I love about Agent Carter is how Peggy gets to move on and isn't defined by her lost wartime romance (Steve), but if you wanted to do a vid about her missing him, These Foolish Things would be the song to do it to.  It's a classic, it's been recorded SO MANY TIMES by so many different people, you can find all sorts of recordings of it.
Everybody Says Don't is a great song about going against what's expected of you, which is perfect for Peggy.

Except for Hot Rod Mama, all of these songs have been recorded multiple times by multiple artists--they're classics--so don't be afraid to explore.

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