Discussion Highlights: Trigger Warnings

Last Week’s Discussion:
Trigger Warnings

We talked about violence and how much we support it, but now we need to talk about management and preparation of that violence for readers who might be more affected by it. That’s what trigger warnings are for. They are beneficial and a necessity for readers who require them, but can help other readers too. Let’s see if the discussioners agree, shall we?

Adrienne said:

“YES to trigger warnings! They can be done in a way that does not spoil anything but warns readers about graphic and mature content. I think all books should have them! […] Trigger warnings can be placed like rating labels on movies and still not spoil anything.”

Tanja said:

“As you said, they can be very general and don’t need to give away any details. Readers who don’t care, don’t need to read the warnings, but those who do, might be able to make a more informed decision about whether or not to read a particular book.”

Trent said:

“With most books that I’ve read, I think it is very easy to tell if something disturbing is going to happen before I even start. That being said, I do think trigger warnings are a good idea for many of the things that happen in books, particularly sexual violence, which has effected too many people and often has long lasting issues.”

Mikaela said:

“I completely agree with you that trigger warnings are extremely important to the well being of some readers. As someone who has struggled with mental health issues it’s nice to go into a book that contains self harm and suicide a little more prepared for it instead of going in blindly.”

J.W. said:

“I’ve never considered including trigger warnings before, but I will going forward. The only thing that makes my curious is how I would know which triggers to warn against. I’m one of those snarky bitches that can read anything. A warning that seems over-sensitive to me might be necessary for someone else.”

Rae said:

“Yes, we need trigger warnings. I may not have any triggers personally but I can acknowledge that is a privilege and when I’m surprised by certain scenes, I know that the impact can be much more damaging for someone else.”

Alex said:

“i totally agree with you 100%. i am all for trigger warnings, because you never know what will be coming! i usually include them in my reviews just to warn people. […] i mostly prepare before reading the book and shut off so i can still enjoy a good book. but for that i need a warning. and there are so many people out there, who need this. so i agree, there should be warnings about all kinds of stuff!”

Deanna said:

“I think that authors and publishers have an obligation to their readers. If a reader picks up a book that ends up triggering them with no warning what so ever, you lose a read for that author and possible that publisher. […] I think that the world is changing, and we’re learning how to recognize and help those that have suffered dramatic events. Just because something terrible happened to someone, doesn’t mean they should be [un]able to enjoy media. People with triggers learn what movies or TV shows to avoid, that should also be an option for literature.”

Shanah said:

” If there were warnings, it wouldn’t hurt book sales. I don’t have any triggers so I would just disregard the warning if there were any. But those, especially in the YA age group, who aren’t emotionally equipped to deal with painful situations, would benefit from knowing what they’re going into. There’s a publisher called Clean Teen who actually has warnings (and a numbered rating system to go with it) and then has specifics on the situations it’s warning about. It would be wonderful for all publishers to follow suit.”

Adam said:

“In general I like to see a story open with a microcosm. Find a way, in the beginning, to offer a sample of the different tones & styles that exist in the story, including a fair example of anything that might trouble an audience, such as violence, sexuality, or general dark tones, so that audiences can clearly see exactly how “bad” it gets. I think trigger warnings are a good first line of defense, but for those who are on the fence, a microcosm sampler can help clarify whether “this story is for me”.”

Can I just say how much I love the support of this blogging community, especially from those who do not have triggers? Because that’s what it’s about. People with triggers would benefit and those without triggers don’t mind and could even benefit as well. It’s a win-win situation and I don’t understand why it’s not a thing. Hmm… maybe I should add a rating system to my book reviews? What do you guys think? Want to start a movement? 😀

Check out this week’s discussion on Thursday at 10am EST:
Review Re-Do

7 thoughts on “Discussion Highlights: Trigger Warnings”

  1. I really loved this discussion and I agree, for those of us who have not been in a situation that could have painful memories caused by triggers, it is more important for us to recognize those scenes and warn others so they don’t have to come across them themselves. The book I spoke about was reviewed by a fellow blogger who gave it 5 stars and recommended it to everyone and said NOTHING of the rape scene. I don’t agree with that. I feel like something should have been mentioned in her review, regardless of her rating. Just something at the bottom that stated may contain a mature scene dealing with rape. Now someone in her following that may be triggered by this scene will have no knowledge of it and will be blind sided!


  2. Oops, I missed this discussion! I agree with your post and this summary of comments, and don’t have much more to add anyway. 😆

    And yes, do add trigger warnings to your reviews! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great summary 🙂 I absolutely agree regarding trigger warnings. One interesting defense that I read about trigger warnings: they shouldn’t be considered “spoilers” because good books should not be relying on events such as sexual violence, suicide, mental illness, etc, as plot twists.

    Liked by 1 person

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