Okay. So, what is a trigger/content warning/note? It’s usually a written or spoken warning of content that might cause someone with mental health triggers to react.
A content warning is the same, as is a content note. (Among people who need them there’s definition between the three, and for someone who doesn’t, but is trying to be mindful of others’ triggers, any of the abbreviations will do.)
Trigger Warning = TW
Content Warning = CW
Content Note = CN
The movie/visual arts entertainment industry has been using these for a long time. You’ll see them at the beginning of most shows and movies, so it’s not a new concept.
Here’s an academically focused article on why we need them if you’d like to read it.
AND here’s my collected list of things that really could use warnings.
You can and should warn for anything that has difficult material, fiction books especially, videos/images on social media, words used on social media… You have NO idea who will read your book or post, and as an author, one of the very last things I ever want to do is hurt my readers.
CW common triggers
Animal cruelty or animal death
Companion animal death
BMI, Body Mass Indicator
Body measurements (IE C-cup breasts, size 6 jeans)
Rough sex with willing participants
Kink (in and of itself, kink wouldn’t need a TW. Unfortunately, and thanks to those horrible books by E.L. James, so many people are hurt by their partners who play at kink without learning the realities and ways to be safe. This is why I include it in the list. I’m kinky, and I’m hesitant about doing so, but I know so many people who need it.)
Kidnapping & abduction
Death or dying
Gendered body part descriptions
Gender essentialist language (romance authors, I’m looking at you)
Violence against Black people
Violence against BIPOC
Violence against POC
Hateful language directed at religious groups (e.g., Islamophobia, antisemitism)
Trans hatred, Transphobia
Queer KID abuse (or abuse of queer kids, anyone under 18)
Queer adult abuse
Loss of family for being Queer
Queer abuse by the church
Alcoholic abuse of children, or material that includes an adult child of an alcoholic
Addiction & dependency (These are two separate things, please look them up if you’re not familiar with the differences, here’s a reasonably good article on it. CW for article, mild ace hatred/acephobia.)
Police brutality & violence
Trauma, traumatic injury
Religion (IE Christianity, Islam, etc.)
Emesis, vomit, vomiting
Forced Indentured Service
Murder of Autistics by police
Disabled person murder
Disabled person abuse
Disabled person murder by police
Bloodletting and Exchange
Tickling as coercion
Graphic Shape change
This list will keep growing as I find things people need the warnings for. Please feel free to share it widely. This is information I WANT people to have.
It’s a simple thing to add to your work, no one HAS to read the TW page in the front of a book. So it’s not an issue of spoiling something.
As far as social media goes, using TWs/CWs makes it safer for everyone. I personally loathe it when I accidentally hurt anyone.
Last bit. I’m a disabled autistic author, editor, and diversity editor (formerly known as a sensitivity reader). My entire income (which, since we caught COVID19 is most of my family’s income) comes from my work of words and my advocacy efforts.
If you can at all afford to pledge, please become a patron to support my work. Even a dollar a month helps more than you can know.
It’s not perfect by any means, but Patreon is a way that you can help intersectionally marginalized creators, like me, directly.
I also keep an Amazon Wishlist, most is stuff I need that I can’t afford because I’m disabled. (It’s a shitty thing to know there’s things that will help you live a better disabled life and not be able to afford them.) A lot is for my kids, and some are just wants, because even poor people need entertainment.
You can buy my books! I write good words and stuff!
Maëlcolm is a skilled BDSM trainer, a spy, and unfortunately, a prince.
Cameron is Maël’s older brother, titular heir to their father’s kingdom and in love with his enby bodyguard, Li.
Kat is an enslaved person. A genetically modified being created for one purpose, and one alone. To please her masters in bed.
Los is a gifted Companion, the only thing that makes him happier than practicing his calling is loving Maël, the one man Los can’t have an official relationship with.
If Maël doesn’t give up his calling and do as the Ard Righ demands, his family loses everything.
If Cam doesn’t do what he needs to do to become worthy of the throne by the Ard Righ’s stringent standards, their family may be executed.
If Kat, autistic, touch-averse, and afraid, chooses to fight her fate, she’ll die.
When an artificial intelligence named ‘the high king’ is at the helm, the cost to human hearts may be impossible to bear.
There is an enby/non-binary character in this who uses xie/xyr/xem pronouns.
Omnibus (coming soon)
CW Extremely rough sex with willing participants, Self-Harm, Suicidal Ideation, Infertility Struggles, Miscarriage, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD/C-PTSD, Gory hand to hand combat
Sex trafficking/trade, Forced indentured service (from an author of historically oppressed peoples), Chattel Slavery, Fertility as a necessary construct to planetary growth, eugenics run by an A.I.
Rhian is content in her life. As a pwca, a Welsh shapeshifter, she is bound to the Dark God Arawn as an assassin. So when he assigns her as ambassador to oversee Ontario for him, it’s a shock.
Her new job? To find out who murdered her predecessor and bring them to justice, as well as to oversee the otherkin and clean up their messes before the humans find them–all to preserve the illusion that magic and supernatural creatures do not exist.
The problem? One of the otherkin she’s supposed to oversee is her estranged husband, Kai, the only person Rhian never regretted having sex with, and the only one she can’t forgive.
Publisher (where I get the most money)
Chapters/Indigo (I’m personally boycotting Chapters/Indigo, but if that’s where you get your books, I’ll be happy of the sale.)
I have print copies of Blood-Bound that I can sign and send out to you. Email me: Kaelan.Rhywiol@gmail.com and I can give you a price/shipping quote. I include the swag pack for free until I run out. It’s usually around 18$ plus shipping. I ship internationally as long as you can foot the bill.
CW “Warning: This book contains sexually explicit content, which may only be suitable for mature readers, rough sex with willing participants, reference to tickling as coercion, mention of food and alcohol, graphic violence, motor vehicle accident, discussion of depression, suicidal ideation and past attempt, on page panic attack, ableist language as self-identification, child death, parental separation, allusion to rape, blood-letting and exchange, reference to self-harm.”
Urban Myths and Legends
Dr. Shealyn MacConnelly, Ph.D. buried her father on her birthday and getting drunk to mourn both her father and brother seemed the thing to do.
Rian, Shea’s long lost beloved recently moved back to town with his lover, Jai. Returning from a project, he finds out her father has died.
Jai and Rian have a secret, one that Shea needs to know. They’ll have to convince the stubborn scientist before it’s too late and she learns it for herself, the hard way.
A kinky, erotic romance novella with R.A.C.K style BDSM and a m/m/f polyamorous Ménage.
CW Alcohol, reference to drug use and addiction, mention of school to prison pipeline, death from opioid abuse, drunkenness, death, funeral, rough sex with willing participants, graphic shape change, grief, sibling loss, family loss, home loss
As always, I’m so very grateful to anyone who helps me keep doing my work of words. Some days, I feel like words are all I have.
Books and Main Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/bites @KaelanRhy