Torture in Fics (please read)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Gandalf the Grey, Sep 25, 2001.

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Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. KenobisGirl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2001
    star 4
    Hi! I'm 14 years old. I love Obi-Wan, and I love Obi-torture. I'm not sick or anything, it's just something I enjoy, because it shows how strong my favorite jedi is. My parents allow me to read and write it, because they know that it's just a story, and that I would never do those things myself. I am a straight A student, I'm very shy, and I am very nice and respectful towards my paretns. They are very lenient with me.

    Anyways, that's not the point... You don't see TV channels telling their programs to switch to a strictly PG-13 channel, do you? So why should authors and readers, who consider this place their home and love reading Obi torture here, have to move to a seperate page?

    If you don't like it, don't read it. Parents, if your worried about what your children read or watch, keep a close eye on them, and make sure that they heed warnings and ratings. Put up a fire wall if you're that worried. Why should authors have to pay for irresponsible parents and disobedient kids?

    Anyways, those are just my humble opinions... MTFBWY! :D
  2. AquaRose Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 2001
    star 4
    Hey Gandolf you are a good person stopping this horrible stuff is at the top of my list of things that need to be done... try getting to know the author of these horrid fics that are out there and just pressing them slowly into using their talents so all of us can enjoy them. You are giving Gandalf from Lord of the Rings a good name by standing up for what you believe in. If you were cute, here at my house and a guy... I might hug you;)
  3. AquaRose Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 2001
    star 4
    Your parents must not have a very stong convictions... reading and writing things imprints them in your mind you need to stop thinking about hurting others try writing a fanfic where Obi-wan and Qui-Gonn go on a picnic and... obi-wan drops his lightsaber in a lake and he has to go after it and in the process almost gets eaten by a huge rancor that can swim? Just an idea but there are lots of things you can write about OTHER than torture.
  4. Fremen Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 3
    Gandolf do you play Cosmic rift?

    Fremen
  5. KenobisGirl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2001
    star 4
    Aqua, are you saying that I will start torturing people? I go to church every Sunday. I have Jesus in my heart, all right? So lay off! Torture is just a way to express myself. It's something I like to do, and if you don't like it, that's too bad, because nothing you say will change my mind!
  6. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    Back down, folks.

    No more discussion of people's motives, and I mean it. It is no one's business to look inside anyone else's head. One more post of that nature (or response to it) and I'm going to lock the thread. And since it's much better to come to a consensus on our standards with everyone talking than to make something up and then ask for opinions, I'd prefer not to have to do that.

    We've been told that there needs to be a limit. We need to set it. That's what this thread is for.

    Proposals:
    We could look at the torture scene in relation to the length of the piece -- a ten page torture scene in an eleven page story is gratuitous in a way it wouldn't be in, say, a seven hundred page story. Potential problem -- a fic could open with such a scene, and no one would know how long it would end up.

    We could judge by what is actually graphically portrayed. Do we hear that there's a sharp object coming toward our hero, then turn to the conversation, or do we trace its painful progress through his body? Problem: It's obvious that we disagree even on what's "shown" in various passages already written.

    We could apply the strict movie standard and insist on cutting away as soon as the pain begins. Problem: this is effectively banning the genre and shutting out a lot of good writers.

    Other proposals?
  7. KenobisGirl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2001
    star 4
    I wouldn't actually track the sharp objects path through the body. I wouldn't be able to write that, it's just too gruesome. I only write that the sharp object entered the body, then the character felt extreme pain, then passed out. Then comes the mush... and the healing... and the happy ending. That's pretty much all my writing is.

    Sorry I got a little mad, today hasn't been my day... ;)
  8. AquaRose Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 2001
    star 4
    I feel I must ask all of you for being rude to dear Kenobi's Girl and I ask all of you to forgive me. Those staments were suppose to be comments not harmful weapons of satan.
  9. JazzyJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 3
    I stewed over this a couple of days and bounced my views off of my friends at the RHS thread. To see those opinions, follow this link and scroll a little farther than halfway down the page.

    I'll check back here and see if I need to respond to any concerns that our opinions raise.
  10. FELICIA_ZEZILI Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2001
    star 3
    I am 15 and I don't think anything is wrong with tortureing Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon or any torture to a charcter and I'm not a violent person. the stories I got Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in have torture and I even kill off some of myc harcters but its just to depth to the story. We love the characters more when they get hurt. An example: the Empire Strikes Back is said to be the best of the Star Wars movies. Why? Because the Heros get hurt! The director even said that.

    And just cause you write torture doesn't mean your gonna wanna do that stuff in real life. I could never torture a person in real life and I know alot of people who write torture and they would never do something like that.
  11. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    I think the best way to do it is by the level of intensity.

    I wouldn't actually track the sharp objects path through the body. I wouldn't be able to write that, it's just too gruesome.

    That's what we're talking about... at what point does it get too gruesome.

    Unfortunately, we seem not to be able to nut out the issue without dragging in personal attacks (or defenses). I'm going to give this last personal post a bit of leeway on the theory that the warning was only up for an hour or so, and is on a different page from what might have been a provocation. I really don't want to lock this, because it's important. But it's also a technical issue, and I don't want the thread to devolve into a discussion of personalities.
  12. Cheryl_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2001
    star 4
  13. JazzyJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 3
    I made a mistake in the above link, which has now been corrected. Thanks for your understanding. :)
  14. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    I apologize to those on the handmaidens' thread who are offended by my behavior here. I should have taken a firmer hand about people making personal comments.
  15. Kitt327 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 4
    We could apply the strict movie standard and insist on cutting away as soon as the pain begins. Problem: this is effectively banning the genre and shutting out a lot of good writers.

    I'm gonna go with this option. What's shown in the Star Wars movies is more than what you need to convey to the audience that a character was tortured and how.

    And as Jane Jinn said earlier, this doesn't necessarily mean the story is going to suffer, unless is was two pages of plot and ten pages of torture scene.

    People talk about creative freedom, and all that, which I feel is irrelevant to this discussion. No one is telling anyone they can't write graphic torture fics - just that they can't post them here. Every fanfiction site out there has guidelines about what you can and can't post (except maybe fanfiction.net). And as I understand it, these boards are privately owned, so it's up to the owners to say what they will allow and what they won't, not the participants.

    I think going with the movie standard does allow a lot of leeway. The scene where Han is tortured is a lot more horrible than you see in most PG movies.

    just my 2c :D

  16. imzadi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 4
    I believe that it's all a matter of degrees. For example, I consider it acceptable within the PG rating for a character to be, I suppose, beaten for information or as 'punishment'. However, I do not consider it appropriate for a character to be chained to a wall, whipped, stabbed etc, just because the other character wants to. Perhaps it's just splitting hairs.

    Several mentions have also been made about explicit sex and related themes. Mentions or allusions to the sex act itself is not inappropriate in my belief, nor is kissing and the like. But graphic detail about the act is unnacceptable by the same token that graphic torture is unacceptable. What is considered pornography is clearly beyond the rating of this board, because of the level of description and the themes in general. Should it not be the same for excessive and thoroughly descriptive torture?

    I think one of the main problems here is the board venacular. Several fics that say "Obi torture!" do not contain *graphic torture* as far as I'm aware. Personally I believe they fit into the "Hurt/comfort" category as someone has already suggested.

    I have not been offended by any material I have read here and have yet to encounter a story I believe breaches the ratings rule. Perhaps, however, there are some that I have not read.
  17. JazzyJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 3
    <<I have not been offended by any material I have read here and have yet to encounter a story I believe breaches the ratings rule. Perhaps, however, there are some that I have not read. >>

    Thank you! I totally agree with this statement, and that's one reason why I'm going to be adamant about wishing to see a great deal more clarity on some of the things that have been advocated by the Moderators before any changes are adopted and take effect. One good example would be that we really need definitions on such terms as "Family friendly." Really, what's our frame of reference there, the Cleaver family, the Bundys, the Corleone family? I'm assuming the Manson Family is right out. ;)

    I would also very much like to see Jedi Galadrial clarify her statement on taking a firm hand. I don't think it's a good idea to let that sit there.

    BTW, JG, just because we are not in complete agreement on every issue that comes down the pike doesn't mean I disrespect you or your work. You might recall that in the past I have endorsed your stories, or reassured you that you didn't write a Mary Sue character. Now, I want to make sure that no one disrespects out of hand the hard work and the long hours I and others put in to making fics.

    I really think we do a pretty good job here of policing ourselves. It's going to take a lot to convince me otherwise. However, I am, as always, open to discussion.
  18. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    This is obviously not something that we've gotten a lot of outraged e-mails about, so there's no rush. On the other hand, if it didn't bother anyone, the thread wouldn't have been started. It brought to light an issue that hadn't been considered before, basically because I wasn't the only one who assumed it was just a metaphor.

    "Family-friendly" is just a handy term that most people know. Basically, as far as I can tell, it's common sense stuff. Unfortunately, like "pornographic," it's a term that has fuzzy boundaries ("I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it").

    I certainly don't disrespect writers of these stories (they're not my cup of tea, but neither are X-Wing stories or bounty hunter stories, and I just don't click on those). I've really been doing my best to discourage people from making personal comments here (of either sort), but I didn't want to close the thread, because I agree that it's an issue that needs clarifying, and I'd rather come to a consensus than issue some kind of weird decree, so I left it open.
  19. Arabwel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2001
    star 2
    I am not telling how old I am, but I am telling you that I have read all kinds of fics for years... At first, I didn't even get what the ratings meant!

    I might be a bad example, but I am psychotic, maniacal and paranoid, considered to be violent and prone to schizophrenia. I admit it openly. I also admit taht I don't take my meds. (Chemical lobotomy...)

    These labels have been slapped on me by people who understand nothing about literature. And I DO consider fan fiction to be literature, unlike some people.

    But my point is, I was these things even before I was diagnosed as 'too far in fantsy realms' (Yeah, right) and reading fics with torture has done nothing to my condition, except for improving it.

    Writing a terrible torture scene can be very therapeutic. It lets you to vent negative feelings VERY effectively.

    Anyway, my point is, I'm nearly a psychopath and torture fics have done nothing to worsen my condition. I may have exagerrated(sp?) a bit, but that's the official version.

    EDIT: Forgot this bit first...

    BUT... I also concur with the point at ratings. When I write something violent, I always take care to rate it accordingly. If the piece is normal movie-violent, it's PG-13 (not counting if it has smut), if it's slightly worse, it's R, and if it's all out, it's NC-17.

    To remember the violence aspect when rating is extremely important. I think that this should be minded with mental violence as well, to some point.


    Ara
    (Not very nice person at times)
  20. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    Okay, I'm a wuss. I've warned twice and still, I haven't locked the thread (well, except for about thirty seconds). I guess we're up to a three strikes rule. To be absolutely clear, personal comments about people's motivations in writing torture fics are not appropriate here, whether supportive or insulting.

    As far as marking the ratings goes, that's fine as far as it goes, but the Rs and NC-17s have never been allowed at TFN. We need to figure out the line at which one rating becomes the next.
  21. Kit' Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 1999
    star 5
    Jedi Galaderial wrote <<We need to figure out the line at which one rating becomes the next.>>

    True and that seems to be the issue right there. People have differing views on what is and what isn't acceptable.

    Perhaps in order to combat this, people could be asked to give their definition of each level including significant pointers of what is and what is not permissable in each category.

    Then it would be up to a group to find the 'middle ground' so to speak and publish that as the 'rules' or actully more like "guidelines'.

    I have no idea if that would work but it may help or at least (hopefully) spark other ideas.

    Kithera

    P.S: I had it pointed out to me by my board-lurking boyfriend today that there is torture in the JA book series. Not significant amounts but his point was, that there simply *was* torture and that these are books designed with young adult readers (Amazon.com says 9-12 year olds)in mind.
    (Yes, we do know that people outside this age read them!)
  22. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    Yes, exactly. Torture exists in the movies, also. It's the description of it where the problem lies, not the existence (as long as there's a plot-related reason for it).

    Some of the things that I think would come into it are:

    Length of the scene (obviously a torture scene that goes on for pages and pages is going to be over the top if nothing else happenss)

    Level of description -- at what point does it become too gruesome? For example, George Lucas and Wes Craven might both create scenes with an amputation, but the approaches would be radically different. We don't see Luke's severed wrist spouting blood, or even go to slomo to watch the lightsaber blade cutting through it. It happens quickly, Luke screams, then the scene goes on to its climax.

    Explicitness of description. I would say this, for me, is the defining point. Do we hear about the whole progress, in excrutiating detail? Or do we just get enough information to know what's happening and fill in the blanks ourselves?
  23. Padawan_Di-Lee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2000
    star 4
  24. Cheryl_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2001
    star 4
    I have a question. The fanfiction broad has been here for two years and from the very begining there has been torture. If this was inhuman to people why haven't someone said anything before? And if you don't like the fic that someone is writing. Don't read it. There are many of us that like those fics. Why are you trying to ruin it for the people who do like it.

    Jedi G- I would rather see the thread closed then read people discriminating what I write.
  25. Jedi-Faith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 2
    About closing the thread, IMHO I really think that's unwise. I realize it's hard for some people to restrain themselves from making remarks that other people will find insulting. But let's face it: ANYTHING can be taken as an insult. It's impossible to make everyone happy; that's why democracy goes for the majority. So, really, a collaborative effort is required to keep peace here; don't say anything offensive and at the same time don't be overly offended by a differing opinion.

    Best thing to do is to keep an open mind. And if it happens that you are insulted by something said, PM the speaker or just ignore it; don't retaliate. Revenge is not the way of the Jedi... :D

    Anyways, personally, I find this thread enlightening; I had no idea that there is such a significant number people who dislike "torture" fics so much... It's given me some ideas for my site, including a poll regarding the rating system there and other things.

    So, thanks, Gandolf, for bringing this issue up. :)
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