Am I allowed to have suicide in a story? + Swearing?

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#1

Am I able to have a character commit suicide in my story as long as I don’t show any images of it? Or can I show subtle images? such as only seeing the characters feet dangling because they hanged themselves or something like that? The rules say not to promote certain things. I assume promoting things like suicide, drug abuse and etc. Means that you can’t glamorize it or make it seem appealing? Is that correct? What kind of warning should I put in my story?
Also while I’m on the topic, is any cursing allowed? I haven’t used any yet, but I wouldn’t mind adding a swear in one of the up coming scenes and if so what swears are absolutely not okay?


#2

If you need a splash I can’t also I don’t think you can curse here


#3

A splash?


#5

Oh, to keep my post on topic, I will private message you if that’s okay.


#6

OK and I will delete the messages


#7

Yeah, I know a lot of popular stories with swearing and I have it in my stories, so I think it’s aloud. Just make sure to put a warning at the start of your episodes and stuff.

Also, the suicide should be allowed as long as you don’t glorify and you put a proper warning that it talks about some touchy subjects and some people may be triggered.


#8

Just make IT a choice to skip The scene and say that someone took suicide or something or maybe don`t say that, but explain what happened


#9

That’s a good idea, thanks.


#10

Yeah, maybe I’ll have a special warning at the beginning of the episode that has the suicide happen. As for the swearing, have you seen anyone use the “F” word or anything on the extreme end? I mean I’m probably only going with the “B” word, but I wonder. It would be good if they could just tell us 100% so I didn’t feel like I’m gambling, though.


#11

Oh, I use all sorts of language in mine, but I made sure to put a proper warning telling people not to read if it offends them or anything. I’ve seen many people use those types of words too, even in really popular stories. I wish they told us what we could and couldn’t add, but they don’t seem to have a problem with it. I mean, they created the warning backgrounds for a reason :smile:


#12

Lots of stories use swearing, as long as it’s in suitable moderation it’s ok.

As for suicide, It’s ok as long as it features a trigger warning, as someone mentioned - a skip option is the best thing to do. Also, I came across this post where the poster made badges to put on covers for stories. In the link, there is a trigger warning badge you could feature on your covers.

My advice is to make it as clear as you can at the very beginning of episode 1 that the story contains a storyline featuring mental health and suicide. This gives anyone the opportunity to not read your story from the get go rather than reading halfway through to get to a point where they decide they can no longer continue to read. Sensitivity is the most important thing.


#13

same thing I want to know. I think it’s okay as long as you don’t promote anything.


#14

Thanks, the problem is, I’m not 100% sure if this story will have suicide in it or not at this point, it’s an idea and I won’t know if I’m going to add it until after I write a few episodes to see if it’s necessary. So I’d hate to warn against it early and then have it never get to that point.


#15

Have you considered writing in advance? I understand the eagerness to publish as soon as you’ve finished the first 3 chapters, but maybe writing ahead as many chapters necessary before publishing anything can help you decide if it’s the route you’re going to take? You would still be able to just publish the 3 chapters, but at least you would know if it needed a warning.


#16

I don’t know if it’s allowed or not, that probably depends on how you frame it.
Taking the “legality” aside, this is still a complicated issue to write about.
I remember seeing a guide by the APA for journalists on how to cover suicide without hurting vulnerable readers. I don’t remember exactly what it said. But I think they said not to show parts of the dead body, not to mention or describe how it happened exactly, to mention that mental illnesses are treatable and if possible, to include direct ways for people to get help (like posting a suicide prevention hotline number or posting links to websites with tips on how to reach out for help etc).
These are for journalists and you’ll have to decide for yourself how much you care about them/want to adhere to them, I just thought you might want to know about it.
I don’t think a “Skip” option is a good idea because vulnerable people are drawn to those types of stories and scenes and won’t skip them.
You could definitely have a warning show up in the beginning and also plug in something like
“Here are ways to find help if you are thinking about something similar: Suicide prevention hotline: xxxxx xxxxxxxx. Please know that mental illnesses are treatable.”
Something like that. I don’t know, it’s 2 AM.
And ultimately, most of that is just my opinion. Feel free to go with what you think is right, of course.

You can use a couple of curse words. I’d say two f-bombs for the entire story won’t bother anyone. You’re not gambling with that, I know for a fact that’s allowed.
You might want to stay away from slurs and swears that are used to insult people (like cunt), but I’m just guessing with that. Bitch shouldn’t be a problem, I have that in my story too. But that’s also somebody calling herself a bitch, so it might be different.
But I don’t think anybody would delete your story even if every single line has a curse in it. There’s r*** p*** disguised as cute badboy romcoms on the app and they’re not getting deleted.


#17

I have an entire story outline with important details written out, some parts just have some different ideas that may be added or removed depending on what flows better.


#18

Thanks. I was more thinking instead of straight up skipping that the option would just have another character come in and cover the MC eyes and take them away from the scene before you saw anything, causing you to miss what happened and then gently be explained it afterwards or something like that. Also if the skip wouldn’t work because vulnerable people are drawn to it, doesn’t that mean they would ignore the warning as well? I suppose I’ll have to do a bit of research about writing suicides. Thanks for the input on this as well as the swearing question.


#19

Yeah, you’re right. Now that I think about it, there’s probably two types of vulnerable people here. People who know they’re vulnerable and stay away from these types of stories and people who might or might not know that they’re vulnerable but are so drawn to these topics that they won’t just ignore the warning but maybe even deliberately look for stories with characters who commit suicide in them.

But it might not be a bad thing if people who are in danger of suicide read a story about suicide. I think that depends on how you frame it. And it’s not like the MC does it. It’s a minor character, isn’t it? You can show reactions and show ways to get treatment. I know that loved ones of people who commit suicide are often at risk themselves. You could have somebody else get depressed afterwards and then show that person’s super empowering recovery. That might have a positive impact.
Your idea of somebody covering the MC’s eyes and leading them away sounds great to me. You could even have that happen without giving the other option.
But I’m definitely not an expert on this. I’m just throwing out ideas here.

I just know that there was a lot of criticism of 13RW because of how they handled the topic and google searches for “how to kill yourself” rose while the series was airing. And I know that suicide is one of the leading causes of death amongst young people. So I don’t want to say anything wrong here.


#20

Honestly, it’s hard to write it so that it isn’t a bit disturbing, just because it will be in a drama horror story. I’m actually a person who you could call sensitive or at risk myself, which is actually why I’m drawn to writing about death and other aspects like that, because from my perspective not discussing it or censoring that it happens is worse, but I know not everyone shares that view. I’m trying to make it dramatic and shocking, impactful to the story, yet not too harmful at the same time, if possible, again, assuming I’m even including it in my story. The character most likely won’t be in a position to have a positive impact immediately either just because it’s supposed to be a tragedy that caused a ripple effect into more tragedies, including a suicide of a character…


#21

I totally understand the problem you’re facing here. I don’t know how to find a good solution, to be honest. I’m definitely not that educated on the topic. If I was writing it, I’d probably just try to not linger on the topic too much and give no explicit info about the method. But it’s all your call, of course.

But back to your original question, it shouldnt be against the rules if you don’t glorify it. I can’t imagine anybody deleting your story because of it.