?

Log in

No account? Create an account
StephenT [userpic]

(Meme) My warnings

29th June 2009 (16:58)
Tags: ,

So out of curiosity I went through my fanfiction index page and cut-and-pasted all the warnings I've ever given on my fic, then sorted them into alphabetical order. It's quite amuing to see the sort of things I thought were worth warning for over the years.

See if you can work out which story the more outré warnings are related to...

Also, if you think any of my fic should have had a warning but didn't, by all means let me know in the comments. Both silly answers and deadly serious ones are accepted here. :-)

 

Angst
Bad language
Bad poetry
Bestiality
Black helicopters
Blasphemy
Bleak, dystopian tale, a (For certain values of 'bleak' and 'dystopian'.)
Blood
Bondage
Butchering of Paleo-Bambi, the
Character damnation
Character death (x 3)
Character death (Buffy)
Character death, obviously enough
Computer hacking
Concepts which some readers might find distressing
Cyber-crime
D/s
Death
Discussion of teenage sexuality
Explicit femslash
Explicit sexual themes (and since it's set in a women's prison, I'll leave you to work out what that means in practice...).
Fairly explicit sex scene
Faith's childhood
Femslash (x 2)
Gratuitous product placement
Heresy
I have no shame
It's my first time (and it's not something Buffy's done before either)
Language
Mentions of sex
Mild squickiness
Non-explicit violence
Occasional use of swearwords (but you already knew that, because this story has Faith in it...).
Off-camera violence
Possibly a happy ending, at least for some of the characters.
Pretty bleak and depressing
Profanity
Rabelaisian humour
Reference to attempted rape
References to human sacrifice
References to System Shock
Relationships between people of radically different size
Robot ninja
Sadness
Set in season 8
Sex
Some fairly dark elements
Some naughty words
Some swearing
Spike/Drusilla*
Strong language
Sultry yet dangerous Latina lesbians
Suspense horror
Swearing
Tentacle monsters
Tragedy
Troubled hero with a dark past, a
Use of medical terminology to describe body parts
Vague references to various squicky things that vampires did to the First Slayer's family in the past
Vaguely femslashy elements
Vaguely incestuous
Violence (x 3)
Violent imagery
Willow having sex with a giant snake demon
Witchcraft

* Yes, I consider that labelling a fic "Spike/Drusilla" constitutes a warning in itself.
Some people may consider that labelling a fic Willow/Kennedy is also a warning, but I disagree with them. :-)
 


 

Comments

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 16:21 (UTC)
pic#89543843

Heh. "Warning: Set in season 8. Do not bother reading."

Been there. Repeatedly.

My warnings all seem to focus on femslash. Can't imagine why.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 16:30 (UTC)

I think most of the people who read my stuff are resigned to it containing Season 8 references. Though oddly enough the few Spike/Buffy pieces I write seem to get about ten times as many comments. Funny, that. :-)

Posted by: Nicki (peroxidepirate)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 00:49 (UTC)

My warnings all seem to focus on femslash.

*Blinks* Warnings? Thought was just advertising. ;)

But, you know, I thought the same thing about tagging something S8, too...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 09:29 (UTC)

It's both. :-)

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 16:37 (UTC)
magic ↔ don't ever look down.

Lol, robot ninja.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 16:53 (UTC)

It's true! One of them shot Kennedy, in fact...

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 29th June 2009 16:48 (UTC)
Faith's childhood!

that "Faith's childhood" is a warning in itself... says a lot of her.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 16:53 (UTC)
Re: Faith's childhood!

Pretty much what I thought...

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 19:11 (UTC)

Heh, I've resisted putting the "Season 8" tag in the warnings box, but it really does feel sometimes like you're damning yourself by even mentioning it.

Spike/Buffy gets you more comments. Spike/Buffy within the show and not the comic, that is. TYSK is a perfect example of this dropoff. I started out within the show and then went comics canon and lost quite a few people (though it's also part of the WIP avoidance, I assume).

Though you don't seem to be hurting much for readership, hon. Your most recent Willow-piece was a big hit.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 20:46 (UTC)

then went comics canon and lost quite a few people

Did anyone actually say "I'm not going to read anymore"? Or was it just that comments dropped off? On long fics I don't think it's that unusual for people to comment on the first chapter and the last chapter, but not intervening ones.


Your most recent Willow-piece was a big hit.

;-) I think I tapped a Zeitgeist with that one.

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 21:06 (UTC)

Did anyone actually say "I'm not going to read anymore"?

Well, one reader asked outright "Do I have to read the comics to understand this?" and then was gone afterwards so I think there's a little something to it, but it's too difficult to say exactly what's based on comics readership and the WIP effect. Just an impression I have.

Of course, on the flip side I have quite a few people who've expressed appreciation that I'm writing such a big comics-based story since there aren't really many to speak of.

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 21:59 (UTC)

I'm curious. Is it because it's in comics format, or is it because the focus of the story has changed to characters who are present in the story and not characters who are currently not present in the story?

I might be taking my life in my hands here, but over the last couple of years, I've noticed quite a similarity in attitudes about Seasons Four and Eight in audience members who are/were primarily invested in the story's main focus being on, respectivly, Angel/his relationship with Buffy and Spike/his relationship with Buffy. Especially among the hardcore 'centric fans of those characters and relationships, then and now. That maybe a "DUH" statement, and I'm honestly not trying to start or inflame any shipping wars or arguments, but as somebody who was more interested in the Scoobies than in the vampire love interests, it's been fascinating to observe.

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 19:11 (UTC)

Blasphemy
Character damnation
Heresy


I do know these are from "Hell's Heart", since the warnings are just the beginning of what's awesome about that story. :-)

Faith's childhood
Spike/Drusilla
...a warning in itself


Heh. Yup, gotta love it when the very subject matter becomes a clear warning to anyone who knows anything about it. I've got an Iggy Pop CD (American Caesar, I think) which has the usual warning sticker on the front... except this one just says PARENTAL ADVISORY: This is an IGGY POP record.

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 19:44 (UTC)

Yup, gotta love it when the very subject matter becomes a clear warning to anyone who knows anything about it.

It really does.
Like with my ficlet Wronged Woman - I would have given more detailed content warnings, but I thought "Darla" and "bitter and vengeful breakup" pretty much covered it...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 21:07 (UTC)
darla-dru

But Darla's so tragic and helpless and you just want to huggle her...

Wait. You mean vampire Darla, don't you? Or one of the vampire Darlas...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 20:49 (UTC)

Which episode was it when Buffy herself recited a list of warnings before a battle? Pretty sure "adult content"was one of them...

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 20:53 (UTC)

"Welcome To The Hellmouth".

BUFFY: Okay, first of all, what's with the outfit? Live in the now, okay? You look like DeBarge! (to Darla) Now, we can do this the hard way, or... well, actually there's just the hard way.

DARLA: That's fine with me!

BUFFY: Are you sure? Now, this in not gonna be pretty. We're talking violence, strong language, adult content... (Thomas attacks, she dusts him) See what happens when you roughhouse?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 21:04 (UTC)

Appropriate then, since it was in the first episode.

Although there wasn't really much strong language on 'Buffy'... though there was self-harm, suicide, bondage, rape and substance abuse as well as what she lists there.
:-)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 00:07 (UTC)

Don't forget lots and lots of sexing! :D

And lesbians. Those naughty lesbians.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 09:31 (UTC)

The sex comes under the "adult content", surely? Unless "adult content" means being old enough to vote, drive a car and buy alcohol...

Is it necessary to warn people about lesbians? Are they dangerous?

:-)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 16:01 (UTC)

Yeah, okay, I just...didn't want anyone to forget the sex.

And, uh, honey, you have no idea. :D

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 19:24 (UTC)

While reading your list I wondered when exactly a warning stopped being a warning to become a spoiler...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 29th June 2009 21:03 (UTC)

When it gives away a plot twist. :-)

I sometimes get a little frustrated by the need to warn for things that I'd rather reveal in the course of the story. Sometimes I even write a fic without revealing who the protagonist is at first, leading up to a big reveal - which is defeated by putting their name in the headers!

But on the other hand I'd say there is something a little self-indulgent about using such tricks in a fic. Maybe, if you're an established writer, there'll be people who read anything you write just because your name is on it. But for most people, they read fanfic to hear about their favourite characters and relationships and situations, and if you don't tell them up front that's what you're writing about, why would they bother even starting your fic when there are half a dozen others posted every day?

As regards specific warnings, my rule of thumb is to give the same general information as you'd find in the blurb on the back of a novel. Enough to form an idea of what happens in the fic without giving away the ending.

True, most novels don't carry a warning for 'character death' - but if the book's cover has a picture of a bloodstained knife and someone screaming, and the blurb has words like "chilling", "suspense", "tragedy", "victims" and the like in it - well, you can guess it's not a happy love story. Warning for character death, without necessarily saying whose death, performs a similar function.

If it was a real spoiler I might either white-out the warning, or be a little more subtle - such as "Warning: contains extreme violence, and possibly the death of one or more main characters." That might be even better than a normal warning, since it adds to the suspense...

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 00:04 (UTC)

Relationships between people of radically different size

Netherlands to Nepal, I'd wager.

Fun reading!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 09:31 (UTC)

Couldn't really be anything else. :-)

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 06:42 (UTC)

What I dislike about warnings is that they give away the story. I've never warned unless it has a rape scene or a character death.

I'm quite scared for the Spuffy fic I'm writing. It's set during S8, and I have no desire to write it in warnings, just gonna put a mention in the "Spoiler" section. All seasons, including S8.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 30th June 2009 09:37 (UTC)

Like I said to frenchani, I've got no problems with warnings that only give away the sort of detail you would find written on the cover of a novel, or see in the trailer of a movie. Anything beyond that I'd put in white-out spoiler text, or perhaps even say something like "WARNING: this is a dark fic and may contain ideas and concepts that people may find triggering". That avoids spoilers, but might reduce your readership since obviously people with any sort of trigger would avoid it rather than just those with the specific ones involved."

For what it's worth, as well as rape and character death I've seen people saying that graphic torture, self-harm and incest should also be warned for.

27 Read Comments