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I feel adrift without talking to you guys on Wednesday night - so I'm going to do another few of these questions before bed.

14 – Ratings – how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?

I'm actually comfortable writing all ratings. I know I don't write much NC-17/Explicit stuff under the name hells_half_acre, but I HAVE done it elsewhere and enjoyed it immensely. And no, I've never set out to write one rating and written another - if I want things to be porny, I write them porny, if I don't want them to be porny, then I don't put sex in.

The amendment to that is that Americans rate for sex and Europeans rate for violence. I tend not to rate for violence (ie: I use the American method of rating), so that's the only area where I might be writing a higher or lower rating than I'm claiming without realizing it - there might be Europeans reading my fic who are like MY GOD, YOU JUST CHOPPED SOMEONE'S HEAD OFF IN THIS G-RATED FIC! I'm APPALLED! But, I kinda doubt it, because no one's ever actually said that. Also, if there's swearing or graphic violence, I usually jack the rating up to "Teen" just to be on the safe side.
15 – Warnings – What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?

Most important is to warn for spoilers! Nah, probably most important is to warn for any rape, sexual assault, or dubious consent. Recently, I wrote a fic where someone had an anxiety disorder - and although I didn't think I was graphically/viscerally describing the anxiety attacks at all, I got a few comments about how with the way my writing evokes emotion and also the fast-clip of the action at that point, I HAD actually set a very anxious and heat-pounding pace to the chapter... and one of the commenters suggested that I might want to warn for Panic/Anxiety, and so I did immediately.

I don't think I've ever warned for anything strange.

16 – Summaries – Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?

God, I hate them. I really really hate them. I'm horrible at coming up with them and if my fic doesn't get many hits, I always blame the summary before I blame anything else. How do I come up with them? I try to think of a way to say what the story is about without giving away anything and also being funny and/or curiosity-inducing... basically, I try to come up with the equivalent of "click bait" only for fic and far less obnoxious or obvious.

17 – Titles – Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?

Sometimes they can be the easiest thing. The Case of the Unfortunate Brother was one that was really simple to think up and I love it. Same with Lies Were Kept Simple, which is probably my favourite title I've ever come up with next to Damned Demented Demons (also super easy to come up with.) The nice thing about coming up with a good title for the first story in a 'verse is that it can provide the titling-scheme for the rest fo the 'verse too, which is why the demented'verse, for the most part, all have alliterative titles for the longer stories.

If they're not easy though, they're IMPOSSIBLE. I tend to either go with poems and sound super pretention such as with "I Imagine the Gods Saying, We Will Make it up to You" (which is just WAY too long for a title, even though it's possibly my favourite poem ever and I love it.) Or I go with too brief and vague and end up with The Time Traveler, which doesn't tell you really anything about the fic and no one is interested in it at all. (Yes, I'm still bitter that apparently that story sucks and no one likes it... I really should write a longer less opaque version of it some day so that I can get all those sweet sweet Stucky hits.... but, I've probably missed my window for that sort of story now that Civil War is coming out.)

Some titles, such as "Men of Legend" were actually originally a placeholder for a better title, and then I realized there was no better title.

I don't title each chapter.

Amendment to my previous answer to 7:
7 – Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?

When I answered this before, I talked about my own fic, and also my inspiration for Draco in the demented'verse (which was from someone else's fic that changed my opinion of what Draco could be.)

HOWEVER, at the time I completely forgot about the journey I took in my teens with Due South fic and the character of Ray Kowalski. In Due South, Ray was a character who, as one of the comedic elements of the show, would often-times forget words and or say the wrong word - such as saying hypochondriac instead of hypocrite... or just saying a sentence like "He was a hyper- high- hippo-" and then another character would say "hypocrite?" and he'd be like "yeah, that!"

So, when I was watching the show, I thought nothing of it - it was a character quirk, it was funny. Then I read a fic once that brought up the fact that Ray was a former boxer, not to mention a fellow who tended to get injured a lot... and that aphrasia was a real thing from which people who were oft hit in the head might suffer.

Now, of course, aphrasia, when you do more reading, is a LOT more complicated that what Ray seemed to display, but that fic still got me to see a "quirk" in a whole new light... mainly, I had never considered before that intelligence and the ability to articulate your thoughts were two completely different things and that there were people who could be extremely intelligent, but have a disability that made them sound hilariously inept at times (like Ray), or simply they could have difficulty articulating their thoughts in general. For the extremely arrogant teenager that I was, that was a needed revelation, both in terms of looking at the character in a new light, but also cutting real people some slack too (including myself).

Now, of course, by the time I got to doing my Masters at unversity, I realized that the inverse was also true, and that people who could speak eloquently and sound super intelligent could also be gigantic idiots who just happened to be good orators.

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
supernutjapan
Nov. 26th, 2015 02:46 pm (UTC)
intelligence and the ability to articulate your thoughts were two completely different things and that there were people who could be extremely intelligent, but have a disability that made them sound hilariously inept at times (like Ray), or simply they could have difficulty articulating their thoughts in general
There are so many people who don't understand this - as well as the inverse!

Enjoyed reading!
hells_half_acre
Nov. 26th, 2015 05:50 pm (UTC)
Very true. It seems so obvious to me now, but as a teenager, it really was huge learning point for me - I mean, the fact that I remember it all these years later indicates just how much.

Glad you enjoyed reading!!
metallidean_grl
Nov. 27th, 2015 04:42 am (UTC)
It's always a crap shoot as to what to warn for in a fic. The obvious things, violence, sex, rape, etc., are the easy ones to put in. Who would have known that writing something about an anxiety disorder would set someone off.

Interesting thing about that, I have a hard time watching or reading about characters that are being manipulated or coerced into doing things they wouldn't normally do or be, much like people who are/were abused. There is this one SPN fanfic writer that wrote a story last year that I couldn't finish reading. She wrote two other fics that I absolutely adored, and are some of my favorites tomes, so I was so looking forward to reading this new story from her. As I was reading, Dean was put into a situation where he became unduly influenced and sank further and further into this cult like group. He became totally unDean like and John was fighting tooth and nail to get Dean out. But this group preyed on Dean's vulnerabilities and were able to influence and unknowingly coerce him into this group and become someone Dean would never have normally become. The further I read into the story, the harder it became for me reading Dean undergoing this brainwashing. I couldn't finish the story. Still curious how the story ended, I skipped several chapters where this brainwashing was the strongest and read to the end. I don't think I'll ever read that one again, it is just too hard for me and evokes childhood memories and feelings that I just prefer not to revisit.

So, you as a writer ask yourself, how in the world do you warn against something like that. Everybody else that read the story absolutely loved it, and there was probably no one else that experienced the same kind of visceral reaction that I did. So, you really can't warn against these kinds of things. So, you warn against the obvious and hope for the best with all other individual idiosyncrasies.
hells_half_acre
Nov. 27th, 2015 05:34 am (UTC)
Yes, that's the hard thing about warnings. With the anxiety fic, I honestly thought that I had avoided anything panic inducing - I didn't graphically describe the anxiety attacks, I just alluded to them, etc. But, then, I don't suffer from anxiety, so what do I know about what sets people off? Apparently very little!

And yeah, usually people only warn for coercion/manipulation if it's in a sexual context.

I mean, the thing is that you can't warn for everything, nor can you predict what is going to be a hard time for that 1 person out of the 500 who read your fic who has had an experience that makes reading your fic hard for them.

You just have to do your best!

metallidean_grl
Nov. 27th, 2015 06:46 am (UTC)
Very true, you have no idea what will set people off. Each of us takes our own life experiences in everything we see and read and all that colors how we perceive it all. You do just have to do your best, and give general warnings. Anything beyond that is out of your control.

I thought about making a comment to the writer about how that fic affected me, but then I thought, what could would it do. I enjoyed the story, except for that part, and would it have done her any good to hear my complaints? There would be no way she would have known, so I can't really blame her. She did her best, as all writers try to do.
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