kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)
[personal profile] kate
A friend of mine posted this over on tumblr: If someone marks their fic “Author has chosen not to warn”, do you get to get your nose out of joint that it’s not tagged with things that you bother you?

#not a rhetorical question

I don’t. But I have no triggers and few squicks. I also am able to protect myself and stop reading things that may upset me, and then manage the upset myself without too much trouble or emotional damage.

I like to think that if I had triggers or squicks, I would ask a friend to vet the story for me, but I can also imagine I’d look at the tags and go, hm, that looks okay to me, and give it a whirl. It’s exhausting looking out for that all the time, and I think everyone deserves the chance to mess up by being a little optimistic about the lack of *personally* disturbing tags on a fic. And I think it’s fair for them to be upset. I even think it’s fair for them to mention it, and I also think it’s fair for them to be a bit unreasonable in their language, if you’ve hit an honest to god trigger.

I also think that you are not required to tag or warn based on their needs, or their comment. It is your creation and your decision, and I can also understand that it might be upsetting to receive a comment like this, because it can feel like an attack. It may even be worded like an attack.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have received a comment like this and I made a choice to add the thing the person was talking about to the tags. It took me two days to respond to it and make the decision, though, because I felt like I had been attacked, and I felt it was unreasonable. In the end I decided to do it, because I wanted to protect anyone else who might have triggers about the thing I hadn’t tagged.

These days, I use warnings and tags very purposefully to try and make my stories as safe as possible for others. I want people to be able to make educated choices about what they’re consuming, giving them tools so they can protect themselves. It doesn’t hurt my work, and to me, it is one of the great advantages to fanfiction over books. We’re writing for other fans. We often give gift fanworks because we love other fen. It’s the interaction that makes it better than books. And because of that interaction, I try to protect people who might want to consume my fanworks.

Honestly, holding books up as the end-all, be-all of the way writing should be is bullshit anyway. I read fic that’s better than published books all the time. So why should the way we think tags, warnings, and consumers of our fanworks/other fen should emulate the way books do things? (Not to mention - every OTHER entertainment has a ratings and warnings system. Music, movies, TV. Why not books?)

(And all that said - I *do* use the “Choose Not To Warn” option when the warnings are too complex to really get into or I can’t figure out WHAT to warn/tag for. I figure better safe than sorry - I am hoping that people with triggers will look at that and go “Hmmm, better not risk it.” But I don’t count on that, and if I get a comment, I try to respond gracefully and address the situation as much as I can. *shrug* It’s a complex topic, but in general, I am on the side of protecting others as much as I can. That’s just me, and I don’t judge anyone for thinking or believing differently.)

on 1/24/16 02:06 am (UTC)
lightbird: http://coelasquid.deviantart.com/ (#1 Gators gonna gait)
Posted by [personal profile] lightbird
I tend to use the "Choose Not to Warn" and then include relevant notes in the Notes section at the beginning of the fic. A lot of my fics are more suggestive/implying than anything else. There aren't any graphic rape scenes, for example -- the rape is implied as having happened off-screen, etc. So I won't use the Rape/Non-Con warning and I won't tag for that, because on the flip side of people not wanting to read it there are people who do and I don't want them to think my fic is something it isn't. I do try to be as specific as possible in tags and/or notes because I have had people triggered by one of my old dubcon fics, which I felt really bad about. I made an effort to tweak the notes and tags on that one to make sure everything was covered and now I'm very careful to be as specific as possible about what my fic is about and that it may contain content that could be upsetting.

As far as approaching fics like this as a reader: I won't get my nose out of joint at the author because they have every right to write whatever they want, and to use the "Choose Not to Warn" option -- it's there as an option for a reason. But I may choose not read the fic or save it until a time when I feel better if there are no clues or info about what might be in it in the summary, notes or tags. Sometimes comments on the fic can help too.

on 1/24/16 08:13 pm (UTC)
lightbird: http://coelasquid.deviantart.com/ (#1 Gators gonna gait)
Posted by [personal profile] lightbird
The small amount of onscreen stuff I've written is more dubcon but people have found the way I write dubcon extremely triggering. I don't really write rape/non-con so much as dubcon. I have a really hard time writing (and reading) graphic rape/non-con, plus I think I bring my own issues to it...so yeah, it gets really messy. Unless it absolutely needs to be in the story for a purpose, I tend to stay away from both in my writing.


kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)


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