About Trigger Warnings Aug 1, 2022 13:31:46 GMT -6
Post by RAVENEYE on Aug 1, 2022 13:31:46 GMT -6
WHY TRIGGER WARNINGS?
So here's the thing about trigger warnings that I've started adding to contest templates. When I submit stories for publication, I've started running across a request for any possible trigger warnings in the story. Not at all zines, just a few. But I'm guessing this is a growing trend, mainly to show respect for readers coming at the story without any idea what it's about.
To list triggers is a way for everyone to rate WHY their story might be PG-13 or whatever -- in a universal way for people overseas who don't use American film ratings. Remember on Old LF when our European members would ask a dozen questions about what constitutes an R rating? AND why sex and f-bombs were considered bad enough for R films but violence wasn't? What constitutes "bad" and "worse than that other thing" is often cultural. Listing possible triggers is a way to get around this.
WHAT TRIGGERS SHOULD U MENTION?
Let's stick to the obvious definition: TRIGGER WARNING refers to any content that may cause a reader to have a negative reaction due to past trauma, paranoias, etc. This is different from a "content warning," which is generally what we think of when this is mentioned. Content warnings are things like foul language, nudity, consensual sexual contact, violence, etc. Things in a content warning may make some readers uncomfortable, but are unlikely to cause a panic attack or nightmares or flashbacks, etc.
Violence enters a gray area and moves toward "trigger warning" when it's of a certain type. Are we talking PG-rating Batman type violence (BAM! WHACK!), or something more along the lines of school shootings? Is this martial arts or bullying? Is this an argument between spouses or domestic abuse?
THEREFORE! Here's a list off the top of my head of things that fall under the TRIGGER WARNING label:
* Any blood and gore
* Any gun violence
* Bullying, hazing
* Police violence
* War violence
* Any abuse, sexual, domestic, verbal, etc.
* Self-harm, suicide
* Any type of assault, from mugging to rape to dog attacks
* Racial slurs, any kind of discrimination (conducted between characters)
* Car accidents or other crash-type disasters (boats sink and Ferris wheels collapse, after all)
* Drug use (is an addict who has been clean for a year reading your story about shooting up and now craves a hit? It's a trigger.)
* Death of any kind, from losing a parent to natural causes, to death of a pet, to violent deaths.
* Anything that could be considered a common phobia, from spiders to drowning to claustrophobia.
(So yeah, we're not just talking a few f-bombs flying around, or impossible horror situations like dolls coming to life and stabbing people. The stabbing is the trigger warning, not the creepy doll. A creepy doll is a content warning.)
Any triggers I neglected to mention? Please list anything that comes to mind. Any questions, concerns, arguments? If you're not sure if your story's content falls under Trigger Warning, just ask. We'll figure it out.