Author: Yemi Hikari PM
Tired of the excuses that people use for bad writing? Here is why said excuses just don't work no matter how much some people think they do.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Suspense - Chapters: 61 - Words: 60,080 - Reviews: 52 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 05-20-13 - Published: 12-13-12 - id: 3082657
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
~No Warnings Needed~
Over on Live Journal I got to having a conversation with someone about something we both disagree on. The discussion involved the kinds of warnings a person should have to put onto their stories and the ones that they shouldn't have to put on their stories. The one that we disagreed upon happened to be whether or not a writer needed to put a slash warning or at least indicate if there was a particular slash pairing in their story even if the pairing was the main pairing.
The other persons stance is thus. If the story is listed under the genre of romance then one should then assume that the pairing in the story happens to be for the two characters unless otherwise stated. If the writer happens across a story where the two main characters happen to be both male or both female the reader has no reason to complain even if the summary does not in anyway indicate that this pairing is the main pairing for the story.
I disagree with this stance as I feel it is just a way for the writer to push the blame of not warning the reader about their being slash in the story onto the reader rather then admitting that they are to blame. Long before I joined the sister site it had been considered proper etiquette to be upfront with people that you were writing a story that featured such a pairing.
I've seen more and more people trying to say such warnings are politically incorrect. Let me make it clear that I hate the concept of political correctness because it is one person trying to force a bigoted stance on other people. I also however hate it when people label things as being politically incorrect because people take offense at some really stupid things they shouldn't be taking offense.
I'm not saying here that it is wrong to be against what is morally wrong and I'm not saying it is wrong to stand up against bigotry. Take for example though the banning of Huckleberry Finn because it happened to use a certain word that had derogatory implications against black people. The work is a representation of the time and the inequality that these people faced and people want to erase its existence.
The group of people who want to do away with the slash warning or who don't think it isn't necessary to warn people that a story is going to contain slash are pretty much doing the same thing. Their argument is that if people need to warn about slash being in a story then people need to warn about their being het in a story was well. It need to go both ways, doesn't it? My answer is no, it doesn't go both ways.
One of the reasons people think that warning about slash is derogatory is because of some of the other warnings happen to be along the lines of moral issues. Some examples are pedophilia, incest, drug use, and character death. What people need to keep in mind though is that there are other things that people need to warn about that aren't derogatory at all. Some examples include crossovers, the story being an AU, a writer having written without a Beta or the story being a sequel.
Warnings are not about something being morally wrong or not, they are simply there to forewarn people that certain content will be in the story. People don't warn about het in their stories because this pairing type is the norm in real life while slash is not. Note here that when I refer to norm I don't mean het is right and slash is wrong, Lets face the fact when people are young they are typically exposed primarily to het pairings, not slash ones.
Let's get back though to the other persons stance that the main characters being listed along with the romance genre is enough of a warning that the story will contain slash. Is this true? Nope. I've seen plenty of stories where the main pairing isn't the two characters listed that are in the romance genre. This only works for stories that the main focus of the plot is the actual pairing.
These types of stories are actually indicated though in the summary of the fanfic and are easy to pinpoint for most readers, including the ones who tend to not pay attention to the genre and instead pay attention to the stories and main characters. There are stories where the main characters are not the main pairing as the plot doesn't focus around the main pairing.
For example, you can have a story where the main focus of the plot is two best friends fighting over a particular girl. If you list one of the guys with the female character then you've given away whose going to win her by the end of the story. So, you need to list the stories main characters as the two guys, not the winning guy and the girl.
Another example is two females who are best friends who happen to be trying to find the right guys for each other and the plot line is them helping each other out. Most writers think it makes common sense to list the main pairing as the main characters, but the main pairing is not the main characters, the two females are.
Yet another example is the matchmaker game. One character can try to be a matchmaker for their sibling or friend. Or two characters can try playing matchmaker for everyone else. The main pairing isn't going to be the characters listed, in fact... if you go with the second route that would simply be a very bad idea.
My final example is an older character giving advice to a younger character. The main characters yet again aren't going to be the main pairing. So this brings up the main problem with their stance. They are making the assumption that the main characters and the main pairing is going to match in the story when in fact there are plenty of examples where it won't.
Thus it is the job of someone writing slash to put some kind of warning in. It can be indicated in the summary, it can be indicated as an actual warning, or even just listing the pairing. Just listing the characters as the main characters is not a warning. The main characters are not the same thing as the pairings in the story.
That said an easy solution to the problem would be for the site admins to add a way for writers to mark their stories as being slash. I don't mean adding a genre mind you because I feel adding a slash genre would single out the slash writers. I mean adding a side category that lists pairing type, whether it be slash, het, neither, both or undefined, the undefined being for the older stories on abandoned accounts.
Until then, slash warnings are still proper etiquette.