Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Trigger Warnings, i.e. DIscussing 'That' Scene from Jovienne, again

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HALLOWEEN is coming (squee!!!!!) so I thought I'd offer a fun drink suggestion in this week's post.


8 oz. blackberries
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
4 shots of rum
Splash of Sprite

1. In a small sauce pan simmer blackberries, lemons, brown sugar, and water over medium high heat for 10-15 minutes.
2. Use a colander to strain out the blackberries
3. Put juice into a metal cocktail shaker, add ice, and rum.
4. Shake for about 20 seconds
5. Pour glasses 3/4 full and then add a splash of Sprite to each drink

I know what you're thinking, "...sounds good but that's too much work for a drink." But I'll be trying it before the holiday.

On to the topic...
Trigger Warnings: When Subject Matter is Controversial

I've struggled with whether or not my latest novel, Jovienne (Immanence Series, #1) should have a trigger warning.

On one hand, there is a rape scene. Flat out, it's easy to say, yes it needs a trigger warning. I've tried to put the word out there by blogging about it, posting and tweeting.
On the other hand, before that scene arises, I established these four things in the text: 
1.) all demons needed to feed on energy soon after they arrived in this world
2.) they fed two ways:
       a.) by killing and partaking of the death energy
       b.) by a sexual exchange 

3.) if a specific type of demon physically touched a human for an extended time, they could pull images and thoughts from that person's mind
4.) those specific demons could shape shift

When I wrote the scenes for Jovienne's test, I didn't originally have a plan for getting her out of it alive. It wasn't a planned novel, but more of a short story exercise for me so I wasn't invested in making her live through it, as I was exploring what would happen if I tried to kill that character. How hard would she fight to finish her story?

I'd also established that her family was dead and that her father had been a hostile, brooding, bullying, belittling, tantrum of a man. She hated him. He gave her no kindness and allowed her no happiness. 
As an author, having her face him --or rather one of those specific shifting demon's wearing his face-- was the worst thing I could do to her. But that demon gained a position of power over her. Having the demon attempt what evil was already established as it's prerogative and do that horrific deed as her father... it certainly seemed a demonic act to me.
So yes, I pushed hard and I did so on purpose. It was not ever my intention to trigger anyone, so I have put the word out as best I know how.

I can hear you asking, "Why not cut the scene, then?"

Because her reaction and subsequent actions establish her character so strongly, so unrepentantly, that I could not do her the disservice of removing it. I accept that hers is not a journey everyone will want to read, but I must say that, for me, it has been an inspiration to write.

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