Friday, March 11, 2011

Reader/Writer Kinks

My agent posted today on settings and characters that make her swoon. Jennifer Represents: My Kinks

I love her answers and it is obvious why we are a good agent/author match, but I also love that question so I'm going to post mine too. Obviously these are kind of reader/writer kinks in my case.

Time Periods/Settings:

--Decadent royal courts with lots of intrigue and pretty clothes (like pre-Revolutionary France, Vienna or Venice in their heyday, Heian Japan, whatever)

--Places and times where artists, bohemians and/or radicals flourished (like 1920s Europe, Transcendentalists, Greenwich Village back in the day, hippies taken seriously, women studying science in the Age of Enlightenment, etcetera)

--18th century to Edwardian era Western world in general

--Ancient China (I would die to see a YA take on part of Romance of the Three Kingdoms or something like that)

--Also just Asia in general, especially if it's not a typical story, and anything involving east-meets-west like travelers on the Silk Road or Japan opening to the west. (I like culture clashes in general.)

--Kids living in big cities; wacky neighbors in apartment buildings or taking public transit or going to big old libraries (and getting trapped in them overnight!) or whatever, that sense of the urban playground that is full of fascinating characters and just slightly dangerous without being too much so

--Quirky, somewhat eccentrically-run schools


--As previously discussed in my blog, characters who must contend with being an outsider because of disability, race, species, magical oddity, etc. (foreigners, mermaids, charismatic blind dudes, automata/androids, people with a weird magical power, etc. etc.)

--Gender-bending themes of any kind, cross-dressers, dandies, androgyny

--Anything dealing with people of different social classes clashing or falling in love, princesses falling in love with street urchins and things like that, and as Jenn said, rags-to-riches or riches-to-rags or any variation thereof

--Protagonists who are artists, writers or performers

--Airships, aviation, train journeys, doomed ocean liners, 18th century naval themes a la Nelson and Napoleon, basically anything capturing the wonder and mystery of transportation

--Big messy families with complicated relationships; royal families and organized crime families

--Betrothals and arranged marriages

--Smart, handsome older men with mentor-ish roles (since I guess it's not very appropriate to make them the love sue me, even when I was like eight I thought old actors were hotter than young ones); bonuses for old gay guys, tragic secret pasts, college professors, particularly dapper wardrobes, dry wit, etc.

That's all that crosses my mind for today. I bet you've thought of some of yours by now. Tell me!!


  1. HOMG....I'm dying to do that China one. For realz. So many of the same kinks--no wonder I like you! :)

  2. Hmmm. Have you had the chance to read any more of Shadows on the Moon? 'Cos...I gotcha kinks covered, baybee.

  3. @tltrent: YES DO THE CHINA ONE! I'm not doing it, at least not in the foreseeable future, so that is an idea I really really want someone else to tackle for me...

    @Zoe: YES I am almost at page 100 now and still loving it! (If I wasn't in the middle of drafting I'd be done with it already for sure...)



  5. "I would die to see a YA take on part of Romance of the Three Kingdoms or something like that"

    ...OMG, that would be SO HOT!!!! *____* Lol, though I can imagine what kind of outrage there would be from hardcore Three Kingdoms fans if we were to turn all our famous war heroes into teenagers. XD (Wait, that's already been done in various anime, right? LoL!) But yeah, it'd be a great way to introduce western youngsters to a very romantic and famous saga... Not a bad idea, J! :D

    "anything capturing the wonder and mystery of transportation"
    Ahh, that's an interesting one! But you're right--that was one of the odd charms/visceral details I remember most about Full Metal Alchemist--how they traveled everywhere on trains. There is definitely a charm to long journeys via train (and dirigible would be even cooler!). Hmm, I should probably read Around the World in 80 Days eventually...

    I'm totally with you on the gender ambiguity too--not just cross-dressing, but also people who truly defy their gender stereotypes, whatever their sexual orientation is. (in fact, I rather like breaking those stereotypes too--e.g. have extremely gentle, "girly" straight men and extremely butch gay guys~) Sometimes I feel like ol' Gendou had the right idea with Human Instrumentality... it'd be nice to be seen beyond the physical right off the bat (and in some cases, be truly seen for who you are PERIOD). Anyway~~

    Coincidentally, I was just discovering the above theme (being seen beyond the physical/stereotypes to the individual underneath) runs kind of rampantly through my story, so I guess that's a big deal for me. Well, maybe I wouldn't call it a "kink," but I do love characters that violently break stereotypes and make no excuses for it. ^^

    Others of mine:

    1. Pretty boys & extremely gentle-dispositioned, soft-spoken men - the gentler, sweeter, prettier, the better! Especially as the protagonist~ (go, Kvothe~~)

    2. Gay romances, homoerotic tension/obsession

    3. Cool, kickass women who are either very kind or very elegant (and non-bitchy); charismatic dandies

    4. Nemesis, rival-esque or other one-on-one contention-filled relationships sizzling with UST ♥

    5. Silver-haired (young) guys

    6. Mysteries, puzzles & riddles -- especially ones with a gothic/romantic flare

    7. Loyal, taciturn, extremely/impossibly competent butlers or bodyguards

    8. Hidden or unsung heroes (i.e. ones you only realize belatedly/retroactively were incredibly heroic)

    9. Fated showdowns

    10. Stories that turn pre-held conceptions/expectations on their heads (e.g. a story portraying Lucifer as the ultimate scapegoat rather than the ultimate rebel)

    11. Geniuses/great detectives with incredible observational/deductive abilities

    12. Stories of a team/troupe/etc showing camaraderie and interesting group dynamics

    13. Traditional, extremely idealized/nostalgia-infused high-fantasy settings

    14. Stories set in Japan, especially in the Sengoku Period, Taisho Era or modern-day

    15. Victorian England setting, especially when steampunk-ified

    Lol, that WAS fun! :D I'm gonna steal for my blog too if you don't mind~~ ^^

  6. Pg.100? *Quickly checks* Oh, yeah - lots more fun ahead of you. Shan't say anymore. Heh heh.

  7. Culture clashes are definitely ones that I love to read and write about. Probably why the two WiPs I'm working on now has some sort of that element in it. :)

    Also, Asian culture in general. Love it. And anything historical, particulary pre-20th century. Oh and the whole complex/screwed up family issues--great stuff there. Again, something that appears in both of my WiPs in different ways.

  8. I sincerely believe if you haven't read Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris that you would very much enjoy it. It's a bit of a slow start, but the ending packs one hell of a punch. Definitely meets a few ticks on your list. (Although it's not fantasy. It probably falls more under the psychological thriller category?)

  9. Ooh, I'll second the rec of Gentlemen and Players -- not only is it a fantastic mystery/cat-and-mouse game set in an atmospheric British boys' school, the writing is GORGEOUS. *___*