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  1. Mr Van Horn

    Mr Van Horn New Member

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    About the rule on "Distasteful content"? What qualifies? Can't I write "distasteful stories"?

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Mr Van Horn, Mar 26, 2020.

    Hi, I am pretty new here and am wondering about this rule:

    "General Forum and Forum Posting Rules

    All posts must be free of illegal or distasteful content, which includes pornography and nudity, hate speech..."

    Does this mean that I cannot write "taboo" stories that are NOT meant as pornography, but fiction/sci fi that DOES contain for example a SCENE that contains nudity, a man who talks like Hitler, or about a man who just raped someone, underage girls engaged in sex, etc?

    I am talking SCENE here, and NOT the overall theme of the story. For example, in one of my stories, a man just buried a 15 year old girl in the woods, and it is insinuated that he raped her, and his daughter appears and surprises him and they have this hefty dialog back and forth. Does THIS qualify as "distasteful" content?

    If so, I guess this forum really is not for me =/ I write really dark stories, often with a bit of twisted humor in it too. That probably is really "distasteful content", right?

    OR do you mean PICTURE wise here?

    Thankful for answers

    Mr Van Horn
     
  2. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hi, Mr Van Horn. You've asked a very good question. We're not ignoring you at all, but trying to have a Mod discussion about exactly how to frame the reply. It's a question that really needs to be answered—and the answer won't be as black and white as you might think.

    However, you can appreciate lots of lives are disrupted just now, and the Mod team is no different. We're trying to get all our Mods to participate in the discussion, but it's not happening quickly. We are situated all around the globe, and experiencing various issues where we are. If you can be patient a bit longer, we'll get the answer to you.

    Meanwhile, keep writing, and good luck with it. :)
     
  3. Xoic

    Xoic Active Member

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    I've only been here for a few months, but my reaction to this question, from what I've seen in here, is that the rule is there mainly in case somebody flagrantly writes really offensive stuff, so it can be removed. I've seen stories in here that definitely skirt the lines you've mentioned, but they weren't considered offensive enough to cause a problem.

    I would say it's largely in the intent of the writer. If you write mostly to shock people, then your work might cross the line. But if you write intelligently and without the intent to insult or shock then you'll probably meet no problems.

    It's been attempted many times to clealry define what is pornography or what is offensive, and so far it's proved impossible. But I think any forum or venue needs to have an escape clause in case something turns up that definitely is offensive and has no redeeming qualities (or not enough). Ultimately it needs to come down to a gut feeling on the part of whoever serves as moderation. I would say, as long as you're not writing mainly to offend or shock, go ahead and post and see how it goes. Of course I'm not a mod or anything.
     
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  4. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    @jannert can give you an actual definitive answer, if one exists. In the meantime, take a look around the Workshop, which is where you would post passages anyway. There are fairly specific rules for different sections, and most things are fine with a warning label in the thread title. There are definite caveats though (the erotica section disallows bestiality, for instance,) so read the intro to any section in which you wish to post.

    You're not the only one writing dark. Check out some of the other entries. You'll have to critique a few anyway before you can post your own work. There are rules about that. You can post in the Workshop after being a member for two weeks and giving at lest two critiques. After that you have to maintain a two critiques to one entry ratio. I think those are the only criteria, Jannert can tell us for sure.

    Keep in mind, it's apparently very difficult to get something published if it's been posted on a forum, so make sure you don't post entire pieces you'd like to submit anywhere legit.
     
  5. More

    More Active Member

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    Most writers here are, would be writers, trying to improve their writing skills and knowledge. The exchanges of ideas are mostly good natured and never aggressive.

    If so, I guess this forum really is not for me =/ I write really dark stories, often with a bit of twisted humor in it too. That probably is really "distasteful content", right?

    I don't have any say what is posted on this site and the definition of distasteful is is not easily answered . Your post is odd, the use of capitals and the demand for answers.
    However , I would be more than happy to give my opinions on any story you wish to post . MP when you have .
     
  6. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    I posted a story that involves pretty explicit necrophilia. However, the necrophilia was integral to the story - it wasn't necrophilia for the sake of it.

    I think a lot of what might be distasteful would be dependent on the intent behind it.

    There have been stories here that involve child abuse. But the child abuse itself was not written to be gratuitous. If the child abuse itself was intended to be the point of the story and the main point of entertainment, I for one would find that distasteful. But if it was a plot point, I wouldn't see it as a problem.
     
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  7. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Okay, as much as we could do at the moment, here is the Mod-approved answer to the question asked by @Mr Van Horn.

    Note: This doesn't replace our formal Forum Rules, but explains how we are likely to interpret the Rules :


    If you are writing Erotica —stories with explicit sexual content that is intended to arouse sexual feeling for pleasure—post these stories or excerpts in the Erotica section, and follow the rules that are laid out in the sticky thread that heads the section. These rules include absolutely NO suggestion of underage sex, bestiality, and no actual rape …although rape 'scenes' can be played out between consenting adult characters.

    Any other sexual content—including actual rape, child abuse, or sexual dynamics between characters—needs to be written in a way that leads readers to a sympathetic understanding of what the central characters in the story have experienced.

    Moderators will take decisions on sexual content—or gore or violence or racism or homophobia, etc—based on what is legally permitted, but also on providing freedom for our writers to pursue stories that might not be to everybody’s taste—without condoning excessive wallowing in 'distasteful' detail.

    Sexual content should not be grubbily gratuitous here on the forum. Any sexual scene—pleasant or otherwise—should be an element that adds to the overall impact of the story. It should not be the sole purpose of the story, except in the Erotica section.

    It’s not a black-and-white scenario, however. If you have any doubts, please feel free to contact us ahead of posting your work, and let us take a look. We aren’t prudes here, by the way. As long as you indicate in your subject heading (or just below it) that your piece contains graphic sex, gore or violence, that’s usually enough.

    Someone talking like Hitler? We assume you mean a character advocating genocide or something similar. Nothing wrong with that, it's a character. If your story in its entirety comes across as supporting racism, homophobia, misogyny etc there might be a problem, but as long as it's a story about bad people you should be okay. Take, for example, Stephen King's Apt Pupil, which is about (spoilers) a teen who discovers a Nazi hiding in his community and gradually self-radicalizes to the point where he goes on a shooting spree. All of the characters are pretty horrible people, but King isn't advocating Nazi ideology, so that story would pass muster here. The Turner Diaries probably would not.

    We try to strike a balance between squelching our writers and encouraging a porn/gore/racist/prejudice fest. Somewhere in the middle usually works best.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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