I am against adding such warnings beyond what might be included in a blurb, and here’s why:
1. Life doesn’t come with warnings; why should books?
2. Adding revealing information to a blurb for those few few readers who insist they require them often gives away major plot points to everyone else, thereby ruining their experience.
3. Movies don’t include warnings beyond a cursory rating, why should books?
I don’t see Stephen King posting a list of stuff for readers looking to avoid certain situations. Why should m/m authors do this? Why should ANY author?
This is a very recent phenomenon, and it seems to me we are expected to bend way the hell over backward to protect the feelings and sensibilities of a handful of people. If they are so fragile they can’t read a book without having a meltdown, they should avoid reading anything other than Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. It falls on them to make these choices, not the author to alert them to possible problem areas.
Everyone has gone through shit in their lives. Writers can’t post warnings for every possible situation that put someone through the wringer, nor should they have to. Readers must take responsibility for what they read. Stop laying it off on authors.
I don’t talk about it much, but I survived a violent crime. I was an emotional and psychological wreck for a year afterward so I get it. I understand what these people are going through. During that time, I avoided all films and books that might center around or even mention that kind of crime. And then I moved on, as most people do. I didn’t make the world deal with my issues; I handled it. Don’t make me deal with yours.
I have only one trigger I know of, and it’s not related to what I went through. It has to do with the severe physical or emotional abuse one person can inflict on another, and I won’t read books or see movies that revolve around this theme. If I accidentally come across it, I put the book down, stop watching, and walk the other way. It really is just that simple. I’m an adult. I act like one.
So grow up. Take responsibility for your life and your issues and stop demanding everyone dance to your particular tune. The world is not a safe place–never has been, never will be–and trying to force people to wrap everything in cotton so you can avoid the sharp edges doesn’t work. Furthermore, it does you a disservice.
Those sharp edges are necessary. They help you learn to survive. I’m stronger than I ever was because of what I went through, not despite it.
And the things I choose not to deal with? My choice, no one else’s. I’m old enough to figure out which books I don’t want to read, what movies I don’t want to see, without requiring warnings be slapped on them first. I’ll ask friends or read reviews before making my decision.
So write what you want. Get as nasty and dark as you want to, and I’ll decide if I want to read it or not without “warnings.”
I don’t like curtains much. They close out the light. So to prevent the neighbors from looking in, day or night, I propped a Japanese folding screen in front of the bedroom window. Yesterday morning, I took a picture of it. I particularly like the hint of green leaf on the right, seen through the paper.
A short while ago, I mentioned creating a new pen name for my forays into het fiction. She exists.
Yes, I went with a female name. I’m gender fluid, and I thought it would be nice, appropriate even, to explore that side of myself more fully. You can follow her… um, me… on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elle.king.5055. I’m not very active there yet–I’m always so busy!–but I’d like it if you could stop by and say hello.