I notice a lot of people enjoy posting images on AO3, banners or art, but are forced to deal with the lack of customizable options in the default AO3 editor. Below I will show you how to make a workskin to display your banner images centered and to the size of whatever screen the reader is using.
To create your new image resizing Work Skin:
1) Go to your Skins page from the link in your Dashboard
2) Click the “Work Skins” button
3) Choose “Create Skin”
4) In the “Create New Archive Skin” form, change the popup menu beside “Type” to “Work Skin” (very important)
5) In the “Title” box, enter a title that is meaningful to you (for example, “Banner Resizing”)
Optional: If you like, in the “Description” box you can enter a description of what the skin does
I wanted to talk about the authors’ feedback and how important it is for the reader either. It is often discussed how crucial are comments for the author and their desire to invest their effort into their new works. But authors’ replies to the readers’ comments are also important and they influence readers’ commitment and willingness to leave comments. Dear authors,please don’t ignore,please acknowledge us and our comments on your works with replies,bc it goes both ways. Please and thank you!
ao3commentoftheday left a fairly standard response stating that “everyone has reasons why they do/don’t leave comments and do/don’t reply to comments,” but it opened up that age-old discussion as to what readers feel owed when they comment and what writers are obligated to do if and when comments start rolling in.
There is one camp of that states, “I wrote the fic and charitably gave it to my fandom. If I am expected to respond to the gratitude my readers have for my gift, is it really gratitude they are sharing with me or just attention-seeking bait?” It does end up being more work for authors in addition to the laborious task of writing.
The other camp is, “Of course I will show my gratitude to readers by responding to every comment!” And those authors take time out of writing to reply.
Unhitched has over 800 comments.
If 1-10 or so comments are left per reader, assuming they comment on multiple chapters (most do not), that leaves 400 comments to be written by me, which is, of course, in addition to the (current) 171,852 words of the actual fic. That’s a lot of writing!
I’m not complaining. I’m just stating that expecting a reply is sometimes not physically possible, especially if the author has multiple fics in a very active fandom, and I’m not sure I like the idea that readers will only comment if they think they will get a reply. I have heard that elsewhere and it rubs me the wrong way. Refusing to acknowledge the fact that you consumed something the author produced simply because you don’t get the added bonus of being thrilled when the author responds, seems a little greedy … or maybe a lot greedy.
If readers knew how much time goes into the free entertainment they so quickly and happily consume, they would never again ask for a reply. It is a hellish amount of work to keep up with.
That said, I applied all these thoughts I was mulling over to Hannigram, of course, because it makes for a fun writing challenge.
Hannibal Lecter invites you to dinner and serves a delicious human leg all done up nicely with assorted fruits and nuts. You partake of the leg and find it unquestionably rich – divine – your mouth has never tasted anything so decedent. Without hesitation, you thank him for the invitation to dinner.
Being a man with ample time, skill, and a love of both compliments and fine dining, Hannibal Lecter would probably serve you dessert for your politeness. Sanguinaccio dolce. You could consider it a “thank you” for joining him and fawning over his leg.
Will Graham, by contrast, is nervous around new people, but he doesn’t want to appear standoffish, so he invites you fishing one afternoon. The stream is beautiful, the sun-dappled ground peaceful, and Will shares anecdotes about the flora and fauna. You are enraptured. After a few hours, you sit by a fire along the bank of the quiet stream and he plates some pan-fried trout caught by his own rod and reel. The fish flakes like nothing else. It’s light and fresh and melts in your mouth. You thank him, which he wholeheartedly appreciated, but given his demeanor, doesn’t even nod in reply.
Will didn’t bring dessert, unless you count the smashed granola bar under the seat of his car. He brought a tackle box and wants to get back to fishing. You are free to sit on the shore and watch, but if you only went fishing with Will Graham so that he would serve you pudding, then you had no business agreeing to join him. Will Graham is not Hannibal Lecter.
One man is about the sharing of a meal – the give and take – watching you eat human flesh while you give praise and adoration of his efforts; the other is about sharing a single experience that means something profound to him and that is all.
Hannibal appreciates thank-you notes, fine wine, and long-winded conversation where he can preen. He will gladly play that game; he has the time, the patience, and the desire to do so.
Will Graham will give you what he can, but that’s it. The trip was what he offered, nothing more than a nice view, a tin plate with fish, and a thermos of coffee.
Some authors can offer a five-course meal with all the trappings, including replies to comments.
Others pour their time into the fic itself and are drained by the end of it, unable to scrounge up even a granola bar.
In the end, authors range in their abilities to cook, fish, and socialize. Some look at writing as a smorgasbord – a buffet of delight – and reply to all comments without question. Other’s took you fishing and shared a warm afternoon with you, and that is where the lovely day ended.
In the end, writers are all adorable cannibalistic murderers, but since a reader can never tell which kind, it is best not to expect things. A simple “thank you” after a nice day out or a fine meal is all that is needed. To expect anything else might just be considered rude, and rudeness is not looked at favorably by certain someones.
This was originally posted on Tumblr in response to the growing misinformation about what AO3’s archive warnings actually mean. This was meant to educate readers and writers.
“Chose Not to Use Archive Warnings” = May contain nuts (any type of nut or possibly no nuts.)
“Graphic depictions of violence” = Contain cashews
“Major character death” = Contain peanuts
“Rape/non-con” = Contains macadamia nuts
“Underage” = Contains pecans
“None of these warnings apply” = Nut-free
They are all warnings. They are the very first warning you get when you open a fic.
The ONLY authors who tag their fics correctly 100% of the time are the authors who choose: “Chose Not to Use Archive Warnings.” Please stop calling them uncaring.
“Chose not to use Archive warnings” warns readers that the fic may contain nuts – any nuts: whole nuts, nut pieces, traces of nuts, or no nuts. If you cannot handle nuts in any way, shape or form, then you must either keep scrolling or consume the fic at your own risk.
Authors might use that warning because they are afraid of reader backlash for not tagging more specifically later, or not want to spoil plot arcs, or maybe it’s a WIP and they don’t know the ending yet.
These authors are aware of triggers.
MANY of them choose not to use archive warnings because they do not want to be responsible for triggering readers,so they use the best warning they can to filter out those who may be harmed by their fic. And MANY of them still use as many tags as they can. But you have to understand that some tags might be missing for a variety of reasons as stated above.
Let me tell you why this trend of calling these authors uncaring offends me so much:
I tagged a fic “Graphic depictions of violence” once. Then I tagged it “self-injury”, “self-harm”, “body mutilation”, and “suicide attempt.” I was privately messaged after it posted and scolded by a reader who said it was improperly tagged. They said that they were sickened by my depiction of a character’s self-inflicted eye injury. They said that my tags were not sufficient enough for them and that I should have added the tag “auto-enucleation” to save them from that horror.
Dude, I didn’t even know what that meant.
I had given my fic an archive warning, and four specific additional tags to keep this from happening.
I felt awful. I felt sick. I didn’t want to hurt anyone or trigger anyone (even though one of the canon characters in my fic is named One-eye, and self-inflicted eye injuries probably should have been inferred). But I added the tag anyway. I still felt awful for weeks because I thought I did everything right, and I still hurt someone.
From that day on, I decided that I will never use a warning other than “Chose Not to Use Archive Warnings”. I don’t care if no one reads my fics because of it. Having a reader freak out over watching their favorite character hurt themselves in a dream was enough to turn me away from trying to tag anything more specifically.
I don’t want to be attacked by angry readers. I need the catch-all warning so that I can feel safe with what I post.
Should I let one reader interaction dictate how I tag? Maybe not, but it was sufficient enough for me to no longer feel comfortable with my tagging skills.
I’d rather use the “there may be nuts” warning so I don’t get berated by readers when I’m just trying to enjoy a fun hobby that lets me work through my own issues.
To be clear: I’m not trying to discourage tagging.
I just can’t stand aside and let people call authors who choose not to use archive warnings “selfish” and “uncaring”. I still try to tag to the best of my ability – most of us do – but some of us use general tags like “death”, “murder”, “sexual content”, “canon-typical violence”, “self-harm”, “non-con”, etc, rather than a wall of tags that depict every single injury, sex act, or squick. I write for a very violent, very psychologically damaged, very cannibalistic show. My tags would be longer than my fics, so I use the “may contain nuts” archive warning to cover my ass.
Selfish and uncaring authors are the ones that draw you into fics with the intent of misleading you.
Maybe they tag “no warnings apply” and hit you with a major character death or non-con right up front. Or maybe they just didn’t understand what the warnings mean, which is why sharing this info is so important.
No one who uses “Choose Not to Use Archive Warnings” is putting their “precious plot” ahead of their reader’s needs. Frankly, it’s insulting to be lumped into a group that readers assume are trying to hurt them. By using that warning for our “precious plot,” we are essentially halving our potential readers just for their safety.
You don’t know a writer’s intent (or needs) when they tag any more than an author knows a reader’s triggers. Stop turning this into an “us vs them” debate and start listening to each other.
Spread the knowledge of what the archive warnings mean and how to properly use them.
Spread info about proper tagging. All of that is awesome.
But STOP saying that writers who choose not to use archive warnings don’t care about their reader’s safety because they are literally the only ones telling you to your face: THIS MIGHT HURT YOU, READ WITH CAUTION.
You can’t care about a person’s safety more than that. They would rather you not read it at all than be even slightly triggered. They are misleading no one and still being treated like pariahs, and I think that’s sort of rediculous.