What is the rating system used on the site?
We use the ratings system from fictionratings.com. Here they are (with their MPAA rating equivalent).
- K : suitable for all ages, should be free of coarse language, violence, or adult themes. (G)
- K+ : suitable for ages 9+, may contain minor violent action and mild coarse language. Should not have other adult themes. (PG)
- T : suitable for ages 13+, with some violence, minor coarse language, and minor suggestive adult themes. (PG13)
- M : suitable for ages 16+ with non-explicit suggestive adult themes, some violence, or coarse language. (R)
- MA : Content is only suitable for mature adults. May contain explicit adult themes.(NC17)
What is the "Private" option in the Rating drop down menu?
Private is really a status that imperfectly falls under Ratings. Stories rated "Private" are restricted to registered users only. Listing for private stories are still publicly visible as are reviews (we are working on that). Stories rated "Private" should still have a clear content rating of K to MA in the story summary. Please go to the bottom of this page for additional info on the "Private" rating.
What are the warnings used on the site?
- Adult Language: Applies if adult language is used throughout the story (no need to use for a stray swear word or two).
- Character Death: Absolutely use this warning if a death is detailed in the story, also please use there if there is reference to a main cast member dying "off screen". It's up the author to use the warning or not for other references to death (e.g. a relative to a character dies).
- Major Character Death: Use if the story depicts or refers to a main show character* dying. (Jim, Pam, Dwight and Michael always fall into this category even if they don't have a large part in the story).
- Secondary Character Death: Use if the story depicts or refers to a secondary show character * dying. The author may also want to use this warning if their story depicts or refers to the death of a recurring or cameo show character who has a central part to the story, or the death of an original character.
* With such a large ensemble cast, there are several characters that are on the borderline of "main" and "secondary" such as Andy, Ryan, Kelly, Angela, Oscar, etc. We leave it to the author to determine which category these characters fall in depending on their story.
- Drug Use/Abuse: Applies if there is illegal substance use* or abuse of legal substances (such alcoholism or prescription drug abuse.) If your story depicts legal substances being used responsibly, you may use the "Other Adult Theme" warning instead.
- *Cannabis is a huge gray area obviously, for simplicity sake any description of marijuana use should also have this warning applied.
- No Warnings Apply: Select ONLY if none of these warnings are applicable to your story.
- Other Adult Themes: Please use this warning if your story depicts other mature activities/themes/discussion that doesn't fall under any other warnings. (ex. characters discussing sex, references to depression/suicide, etc). Any reference to legal drug uses (alcohol, tobacco, Rx drugs) should have this warning attached.
- Possible Triggers: Please use if your story covers sensitive or upsetting topics such as domestic abuse, addiction, suicide, self-harm, etc. We also suggest writing more specific content/trigger warnings in the story or chapter notes of your story.
- Violence/Injury: Use if the story depicts moderate to extreme violence and/or injuries in any level of detail. Please also use this warning if physical abuse is depicted, even if resulting injuries are minor.
In general, stories that only depict kissing do not need a Sexual Content warning. Stories that have characters discussing sex but don't depict any sexual acts also generally don't need a Sexual Content warning (but may need an Adult Language or Other Adult Themes warning.)
We have three levels of sexual content warning, Mild, Moderate, Explicit, and it can be a little difficult to pin down where the line is between the three, or even where the line is between needing and not needing a sexual content warning. If you are unsure where the sexual content in your story falls, we've included a link to a short story that we feel epitomizes it's warning.
- Mild Sexual Content: Applies to stories where sexual acts are depicted in vague terms. Language is somewhat suggestive but descriptions should not be very detailed. (anything sexual we saw on the show would fall in this category). Example: A Few of Her Favorite Things by bitterpill
- Moderate Sexual Content: Applies to stories were sexual acts are depicted in some detail. Language is sensual and highly suggestive, and more specific descriptions are allow but should still not be explicit. (Think R-rated movie) Example: Grateful by Catie9
- Explicit Sexual Content: Applies to stories where sexual acts are depicted in great detail. Language is very vivid and specific, and often makes use of vulgar words/phrases. Example: The walls start shaking, the earth was quaking by andtheivy
- Dubious Consent: should be applied to stories where there's possible doubt that consent for the sexual acts was fully and freely given. Example: like we're dancing by honey_wheeler [AO3]. This warning should NOT be applied to stories where the characters at any point clearly express (either verbally or in thoughts) that they are participating unwilling, and/or if a sexual act continues after any participant expresses they wish for it to stop.
The rating Dubious Consent is a difficult concept to define in fanfic (as well as controversial) and means different things to different readers and fandoms. Possible scenarios where the Dubious Consent warning may apply:
- One or multiple parties involved are somewhat impaired (drunk*, very tired, etc)
- During the act or after the act, one or multiple parties expresses unsure feelings or even negative feelings about participating but don't express in thoughts or verbally that they are/were unwilling.
- There is a major power disparity between the parties (such as a major age/inexperience difference, a large gap in socioeconomic status, one party is only participating to gain or maintain something the other party can provide, etc).
* with the prevalence of the "drunken hook-up" trope in fanfic, this warning certainly does not need to be applied to every one, use your best judgement to determine if the consent in your story is in any way "dubious"
MTT does not allow stories with detailed descriptions of non-consensual* sexual acts (rape), including the following:
- Depictions of sexual acts when one party is impaired far past the point of being able to consent or say "no" or "stop" (i.e. drugged or unconscious)
- During the act one or multiple parties clearly express either verbally or in thoughts they are not willing to participate and clearly wish for it to stop.
- Sexual acts continuing after one or more parties clearly verbalizes that they want it to stop.
- The act occurs because one or both parties have been threatened or feel obligated to participate ("have sex or else" scenarios)
* an instance of unwanted or forced kissing or groping is allowed to be depicted but should carry warnings (we'll leave it to the author to determine what's appropriate). The story should also not portray a sense that it's condoning or promoting unwanted contact.
Some more guidelines and tips on ratings and warnings:
- While adult content is permitted, the following activities are not allowed to be depicted in any story on MoreThanThat: rape, bestiality, incest, sexual relationships between adults and minors, and the promotion of illegal activities.
- Please make sure your ratings and warnings match. A story rated K or K+ should not have any warnings aside from the Character Death warnings. A story containing only Mild Sexual Content should probably not be rated MA.
- Your story rating should match the rating of your most explicit chapter. Even if you have a 20 chapter story and 19 of those chapters are K+ or T-rated, if you have one chapter that's rated MA, then the whole story needs to be rated MA. Chapters cannot be rated separately, however you are free to put in the chapter notes what the rating of that particular chapter is.
- Any story rated M or MA is expected to have warnings. After all, they wouldn't have that rating if there wasn't something to be warned about!
- If your story covers sensitive/triggering topics like domestic abuse, addiction, suicide, etc we request you use the Possible Triggers archive warning, and it's also highly appreciated you have some sort of content warning either in the summary or the story/chapter notes. If you're unsure your story needs a content warning, feel free to ask us for input but better to error on the side of more content warnings than less.
- If you find a story that has a wildly inappropriate rating and/or incorrect or missing warnings, (for example: you come across a story rated K+ with no warnings but the story depicts drug use and sexual content) then please click the "Report This" at the top of chapter pages or in the Table of Contents, select "Missing information" from the drop down and let us know.
- Major/Secondary Character Death, Drug Use/Abuse and Possible Triggers are recently added warnings, we appreciated any reports so we can come in and add these warnings when applicable.
- If you come across a story depicting one or more of the "forbidden" activities listed above, please click 'report this' and let us know!
Some more info and guidelines on "Private" stories
As stated towards the top of this page, "Private" is really a status that due to technical limitations ends up under Ratings. A Private story can only be read by registered and logged in users. It's a good option if for any reason you're fine sharing your story with fellow fanfic fans but maybe not quite everyone who casually stumbles onto the site. Some things to keep in mine if you chose to make your story "Private".
- Since "Private" is not really a rating, please list the content rating of your story (from K to MA) clearly in the summary
- Your story listing (title, summary, warnings and other tags, statistics) will still show up publicly as people browse or search the site. However clicking on the story title or the table of contents will give readers a "Registered Users Only" message and prompt them to log in.
- Reviews left on your private story are public. We are working on changing this but in the meantime if there's anything about your story you'd rather reviewers not discuss publicly, make a request in your author notes.
- Private stories need to follow all the Submission Guidelines.
If you have any questions or want any further clarification, please contact us or email us at MTT.Fanfic@gmail.com