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12 August 2012 @ 04:14 pm
HD Holidays  
So the hd_holidays assignments have gone out, and I am VERY EXCITED about my assignee, however, I have a quandry and am seeking your wise guidance, oh finest of flists:

Poll #1859555 HD Hols Prompt Etiquette

The prompts given by one's giftee are …

SACROSANCT guides which must be adhered to!
0(0.0%)
A starting point that you should try to stay close to.
31(24.6%)
More … sort of guidelines, really …
38(30.2%)
Nowhere near as important as the requests and squicks.
54(42.9%)
A lovely wishing exercise for the giftee.
2(1.6%)
Utterly unimportant, you write what you want to write!
1(0.8%)


In other news, my cold is at the point where my head is filled with ALL the snot. Damn you, deviated septum of virus acquisition and snot holding!
 
 
 
Lee Marchais: runrunleemarchais on August 12th, 2012 06:30 am (UTC)
I got mine, too. I'm so excited! Ah!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 09:49 am (UTC)
I was all "EEEEE!" which led to a lot of coughing …
Lee Marchaisleemarchais on August 13th, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a difficult assignment. lol I thought I was going to hit bottom right away with mine, but I had a stroke of inspiration.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 02:52 pm (UTC)
HURRAH! I feel certain it will be BRILLIANT!
Lee Marchaisleemarchais on August 13th, 2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
I hope so. I think I have all of the prompts/likes covered, which works for me. :D And even if they aren't all covered, well... it's abstract. Hahaha.
Sin: dw - the right kindsinden on August 12th, 2012 06:31 am (UTC)
Steam. Steam it like a steaming thing. Alternatively, lots of chili. That'll clear it out.

Have never participated in HD Holidays but normally anything I've participated with a prompt is a guideline only.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 10:25 am (UTC)
I've been taking All the Hot Baths With Trashy Novels, and I thought about chilli, but my lips are all split, so then I thought maybe not.

Yeah, I had this HUGE idea before I got the prompt bits in the email, which doesn't exactly go with the prompts, but isn't miles away either, and does go with everything else, so I hope it will be OK …
Devil Chicken: Moonflower Rose (Liv)moonflower_rose on August 12th, 2012 06:43 am (UTC)
Ditto to all of the things, including the snot!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 10:26 am (UTC)
Poor you! I hope yours gets better soon!
Hueyphoenixacid on August 12th, 2012 07:12 am (UTC)
I think if the prompts inspire you, then it's great! If not, then you should just make sure that you don't touch any of the squicks mentioned.

Get better and snot-free soon, bebe!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, steering clear of squicks is super important! Though I am usually pretty safe unless people hate politics, puns and pedantic grammar ;-)

And the cold itself has just turned that corner from vile to getting better; now I have to get over four sleepless nights of coughing …
inamac: writinginamac on August 12th, 2012 08:00 am (UTC)
I sincerely hope that prompters consider them as guidelines - or I'm about to seriously annoy one of my prompters!

Though in practice, even if you keep exactly to the requirements of a 1000 word 'prompt' the chances that you'll come anywhere near what the prompter was actually expecting are very remote.

I've lost count of the times I've seen (and given) feedback along the lines of 'different from what I expected - but better'.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 02:39 pm (UTC)
I've always thought of the ones I give as guidelines: so much so that this year I just wrote 'these are things I like, these are things I don't, go wild!'

And yes, that's so very true! Conversely, I remember apologising to the super-lovely fourth_rose for not really following her prompts at all well and she replied that it was exactly what she wanted ;-)
E McGeemelusinahp on August 12th, 2012 08:49 am (UTC)
My understanding is that they are suggestions. Like, if you want a story concept, here are some I'd enjoy. I think it's actually in the rules that you don't have to write one of their prompts, you just need to pay respect to their likes and avoid their dislikes like the plague.

And personally, as a giftee, I'd much rather receive a story my writer felt personally passionate about than something they forced themselves to write because I left it as a prompt.

If, on the other hand, you're able to fit in some aspects of their prompt/s, then bonus.
Tarataradiane on August 12th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
Your understanding is correct. :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
I think that's a really important point: the few times I've turned myself inside out to make the fic fit the prompt, I've always felt that the story had to be forced along. (Which is now my retrospective excuse for how late those ones were!)

And I know that I can kick in bits of all their prompts! Just not a whole one of any … Did that classic read the likes and squicks, have idea, then read prompts thing. Schoolgirl error …
Shivshiv5468 on August 12th, 2012 08:57 am (UTC)
Squicks is the important thing. Squicks and genre

ie no miserable rapefic for people who want hea
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
I am generally very safe re squicks! Except for that one woman who didn't like all the Britishisms in For the Public Good. I'm prepared to let her go …
This Girlthisgirl_is on August 12th, 2012 09:07 am (UTC)
I think that if the mods didn't ask people to provide prompts, most people wouldn't even bother. I've always treated them (and encouraged Beltane participants to treat them) as suggestions or starting points to help get ideas flowing. Kind of a 'If you can't think of anything, or don't know where to start, the recipient thinks x would be a nifty premise' sort of thing, rather than 'This is the story I want you to tell me'.

Also, ew. I hope the cold clears up soon - that sounds like the anti-fun.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
It's a well poo cold. I was doing well at not catching this one, but I idiotically hugged my sick friend last week. At least I've avoided the two flus doing the rounds! But by crikey I have a genius for snot production …

Sherrysherryillk on August 12th, 2012 09:52 am (UTC)
Having never been on either side of this sort of exchange, I have no experience to draw upon to give my opinion. But if I ever were a prompter, as long as you write a great story inspired by the prompt, that's all I would ever want. If you stray, who cares if the story is good? Or at least better than what it would have been if you forced yourself to write something you didn't believe in?

That being said, I think squicks are very important since they're squicks for a reason. I'm the type to leave a story as soon as I spot a squick and if it's a gift, it's probably a good idea to stay away from stuff your reader wouldn't read...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
I agree: squicks are the line not to cross, and only to toe around the edges of if you are absolutely certain that it will be OK thanks to prior knowledge of the recipient (for example, I hate sexual violence, but if a character was cornered and being molested and turned the tables on their attacker in a violent way, I could well be OK with that because I do love a good bit of well-aimed thumping.)

You are quite right, I shall aim for a great story! That will excuse everything! (Bites fingers in horror that it will now end up being mediocre and show all the flaws. Woe!)
wooly_bear on August 12th, 2012 12:13 pm (UTC)
I hate snotty days. *hands you tissues with lotion in them*

My guess would be that the squicks are the most important things of all. Avoid them like....like snot.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
Aloe vera tissues are one of the greatest inventions EVER!

And yes, agree entirely.
Cheryl Dysondysonrules on August 12th, 2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
I usually try to build the fic around the request, avoid the squicks like burning, and then toss in the prompts like little bonuses whenever possible. Sometimes the prompts just don't fit with the bunny you get. In my last fic the person wanted "tattoos" but no matter what I tried it just wouldn't work.

"Hey, Harry I got this new tattoo."
"What? WHY?"
"I felt like it. Pass the marmalade."

Yeah, no.

(I find it horrifying when people ignore the squicks. It's like the time my sister bought me a pile of lovely birthday presents - all in PASTEL PINK because she thought I had too much black in my wardrobe. *still shuddering after all these years*)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 02:58 pm (UTC)
This made me laugh until I had a coughing fit, because we really are scary secret twins. Smoochfest prompt: 'TATTOOS!' me: *Panic!* I ended up cheating and having Harry demand to know where Draco's Death Eater tattoo was and have it be confessed that he'd drawn one on with ink for the schoolboy LOLs.

And when I was 16, and a Goth in London, Mum sent me a pink knitted beech top. I wrote to tell her that she really hadn't visited for far too long.

And yes, your approach is the one I favour!
Cheryl Dysondysonrules on August 13th, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
OMG, I have to read that now! *dies laughing* Now that I'm FINALLY done posting for Smoochfest and Glompfest I can hopefully catch up on some of the fics I need to read. *crosses fingers* I lost count of how many tabs I have open.

Even my Barbies refused to wear pink. I just couldn't.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
Happily I have always looked awful in pink, so even my baby photos have me in proper colours. (Oh, OK, so they're mostly in black and white because I am 102, but the few that are in colour!)

And tell me about it … I am sort of relieved that this is the last year for hd_hols as I will be able to catch up on the last few years by about 2015 …
Cheryl Dysondysonrules on August 13th, 2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
I look much better in red THANK GOODNESS.

We were lucky to have film in those days, yeah? *can relate* XD

Good luck with catching up, because Fan Fair is coming...

quatrefoilquatrefoil on August 12th, 2012 02:26 pm (UTC)
I've had my septum surgically undeviated, which was unpleasant and it still holds snot perfectly well. I'd recommend putting up with yours.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
I'm always in two minds about it, as it does affect my singing voice, but then, it might get worse if I 'fix' it. And what I have certainly isn't bad, it's just not what I had.

At least it's mostly OK with the breathing in these days! And yes, I've heard it's really horrible, you poor thing!

Also, I have a card and little thingy here for you and have been meaning to post them for several weeks, but do not have your address. Help?
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
Soup, chocolate, hot baths, soft tissues and trashy novels!
rickey_arickey_a on August 12th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
lol, im in the same quandry... i think prompts r more about, hey work with thsese if u like, and do something else if u got something better

sqicks r definitely more important

im on ipad so primitive typing-sorry


i think requesters are writers too and understand that if u try to write too much in a box u get crap
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 03:26 pm (UTC)
HEE! I can always tell iPad and phone typing ;-)

And yes, I agree, though I can do bits of each of the prompts, so it's not so bad :-)
Hollyhollyxu on August 12th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
I remember actually needing clarification on a Yuletide request once, and what they write they want/squick at, is much more important than the prompting.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
I agree. Sometimes the likes and bits of the prompts push people in far greater directions than the prompt itself could have. Squicks on the other hand … they're squicks!
cassie_blackcassie_black12 on August 12th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
I know prompts are a guide, but unless they are completely unworkable, I do always include at least some of them. I think it helps the recipient feel that you've actually tailored a fic to their request, rather than written one that you want to write, whilst simply avoiding their squicks.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
This made me smile, because I remember one hols fic from past years that I thought 'that is NOTHING like the requests!', though it was v good. I always wondered if it was a 'spare' the writer had up her sleeve.

And I've done something I've done before, which is to read through the requests and squicks carefully and start to get a really good idea, then skimmed the prompts and gone 'WOOHOO! THAT TOTALLY WORKS!', run off and written the idea down in a bit of detail, then gone back to read it and realised that it doesn't actually meet any single prompt in totality, more bits of each of them, which I hope will be OK! If not, I'll just hide throughout January after the reveals!
anna_wing on August 13th, 2012 08:15 am (UTC)
The infallible Croatian cold-cure, given to me by a genuine Croat:

Take a bottle of slivovitz (my acquaintance used special slivovitz brewed only on this small island off the Dalmatian coast, that comes in clear, unlabelled bottles, but I feel that commercially-produced versions should be fine). Pour it into a saucepan with sugar to taste. Put the lid on the saucepan and boil the slivovitz. When it is boiling, lift the lid and inhale the resultant rocket fuel. Drink the slivovitz. This will clear your nasal passages (and possibly remove them altogether). You will also be very happy and sleep very well, unless you are allergic to alcohol, in which case you might die.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 13th, 2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
But I don't drink!

Or, more, I barely drink these days (not enough spare brain left after too many whacks with the taxi) … I think the fumes would be enough to send me over the limit!

I have to say, the laugh from your description of it all cleared out a moderate amount of snot from coughing!