Rate my stories, 1,2,3 keep your children safe from me

Aand… it’s the final chapter done.  So now it’s time to commission the artwork for the front piece and decide for myself on how to start publishing it. On the Redridge Chronicles, I like my current format of putting the story proper in pages, and prefacing them wilh a small extract from the story and a few comments. So that’s what I’ll do here. I will also be sticking the stories on Archive Of Our Own. This is a new place for me, but so far, I haven’t seen anything about it to take any great dislike to.

What all similar sites have in one way or another is a tagging and rating system. This allows people who are offended by inter-species sex or graphical depictions of flower arranging to avoid it, or conversely, when it’s been one of those days and you’re really in the mood for some hot bee-on-daisy action, you can look for it specifically. This is something I heartily endorse, because (joking aside), there are people out there who can be genuinely hurt if they are confronted with what in the vernacular is called “non-con”. And that is where it stops being simple. AO3 has four degrees of “raunch”: General, Teens and up, Mature and Explicit. It also allows you to tag who is doing what with whom. And frankly, their guidelines are pretty much useless. There is no rule that says “If a finger touches a nipple, then it is mature.” On the one hand, this gives me freedom, which I appreciate. On the other hand, it puts me in the same situation as I am when ordering spicy food. If I order a Vindaloo, it can vary from place to place whether I’m asking myself if they were out of chillies, or sit there with steam coming out of my ears.

My stories are not for children. This is World of Warcraft, and bad shit happens. I have no interest in describing actual rape, but in a lawless situation, the threat is always there. I think it’s wrong to describe heavy violence in such a way that it looks like no big deal. And on the fun side of the spectrum, all of my characters are well above the age of consent, and have healthy appetites. Sex happens, though I tend to swing the camera away before actual body parts enter the picture.

So what do I rate as? I’m hovering between Teens+ and Mature, and thinking “Teens”. I would not mind several teens of my acquaintance reading it, but exactly how mature is your basic teen now-a-days? Maybe I ought to ask one. Actually, hold that. I’ll ask their parents first, and then ask the teen.

 

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