Episode's Guidelines

Hello everyone! So, I’ve read Episode’s Guidelines a few times, but sometimes I am still unsure as to what’s allowed and what’s not. It feels like you’re on thin ice with some sentences, descriptions or depictions when it comes to subjects like sex/sexual references, violence and torture (specifically), but also others as well.
I want this thread to be about examples of which sentences/descriptions/depictions are allowed and which are not.
I’ve read stories with very direct sexual references and it makes me wonder if it’s truly allowed. (won’t be naming any authors or stories)
So, I just want this thread to be about that. Writing down comments with examples of what’s allowed and what’s not, in your opinions or from what you’ve read/seen etc. I’m sure it will help many authors, including myself. ^~^


Ex: " I gasped as the burning sensation flooded through my stomach. I felt warmth and wetness. It took me a moment to realize that the burning was a .38 caliber bullet ripping through my skin and organs."
^^WAY too much on the detail - this would more than likely get reported for excessively graphic descriptions of violence - a violation of guidelines that depending on severity can get you banned.

A “episode approved way” : :movie_camera: Example:
CHARACTERA is idle_gun_angry and CHARACTERMC is idle_armscrossed_shifteyes_loop
-a short pause

Put that down before you hurt yourself, Jimmy.

*zoom close on CHARACTERA and CHARACTERA starts shoot_gun_angry
*short pause on character idle_gun_angry
*zoom close on CHARACTERMC and CHARACTERMC starts idle_sit_legsup_wounded_sad_loop
*CHARACTERMC starts idle_lay_groggy_eyesclosed_loop

^^Using this method - instead of describing the sensations and feelings of being shot you are “showing” them being shot (without the actual ‘shooting’ being on screen note the tight/close zooms during each action) – thus readers can infer from “put that down before you hurt yourself” and the cut-close zooms and animations what’s going on. No extra details - no bloody overlays - maybe add the blood from the outfits section and swap out the mcs clothes for bloody ones – BUT the point that matters is minimal showing, no - or very minimal - descriptions to keep yourself clear of their restrictions.

I recently sent in a inquiry about whether we needed to * * * the anatomical terms for parts in a non-sexual manner and was told that yes even though it’s not being used in an explicit format, I’d still need to * * * letters to make it fit guidelines.

A good rule of thumb: minimal - minimal description (if they aren’t absolutely required during violent or romantic moments - just leave it to the imagination), minimal on-screen anything and keep everyone at least in their under garments, minimal overlay – especially true for blood, you can not have too much blood in a single frame/scene.


When it comes to the sexual yes I agree I have seen things on episode which should not be allowed. I personally keep my love scenes simple. I have them kissing and change into their underwear, fade the lights then BAM the next day. Because I don’t want to risk my story getting take down. Now episode did nearly take down my story with the too much usage of profanity and they had me change it which I did thank goodness cause of that and taken it down it would’ve broke my heart. So when it comes to writing sexual content. You can’t say certain things or show things, I would list them to you but I don’t know if I’ll get in trouble for saying it here on the episode forums. So hit me up on Instagram at faith_author so I can tell you the things I want to say


So wait. You can’t have blood overlays? Then why did the get approved if it is not allowed?


You can have blood overlays and you can use them - you can’t have “excessively” bloody scenes. I generally will stick with 1-2 large/medium blood/blood pool overlays or 1-3 small-bordering-medium sized overlays. The thing you( in general) just need to remember that ‘excessive’ is subjective to the person reading/viewing it.

Minimalism is key. :slight_smile:


Thank you so much!


what about when it comes to sexual references? What is considered acceptable?
I’ve seen sentences like “I’m ready” while MC’s are kissing on a bed, clearly suggesting what’s gonna happen next without showing it.
Some others:
“I thought that sitting on a guy’s lap should feel soft, not hard.”
“I need to take a cold shower after seeing her dressed like that.”
“It was hard to contain the excitement on the lower half of my body.”
“If he keeps looking at me like that I’ll have to change my laced undergarments.”
Are these type of sentences acceptable?

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I will have to defer to people who actually write in the romance genre for specifics but some general rules:

  • Keep everyone dressed AT MINIMUM in their underwear or swimwear. This keeps you safe from any claims of nudity or ‘explicit’ content.
  • Keep any conversations very very vague - no specific names of parts or explicit sensations/feelings or thoughts, no " and then I felt myself -"s in there Like with violence, minimalism is key.
  • NO on-screen simulations or hinted at simulations (i.e. sliding a character down the front of another character could be viewed as ‘sexual’ content that isn’t allowed.

Keep scenes sweet and end it on a fade - meaning, when it comes to episode - it’s best to have a “left to the imagination” moment.
Ex: Two characters in a passionate kiss pull apart -pause then dive back in then fade out.
^ Nothing is said, or shown beyond kissing but the intent based on room choice or previous scenes/dialogue – it implies what’s about to go down without ANY narration or dialogue between the two.

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Honestly I’ve seen many stories with lines like that…based on wjat I understand they shouldn’t be acceptable but then again I’ve seen some questionable lines in Episode Official stories too. If you’re ever unsure, it’s best to send a support ticket just in case. I would try to avoid those sentences though


I don’t read episode officials, do you remember any lines at the top of your head?

One thing: what one reviewer is seeing as okay, the other one will flag it as breaking a guideline. If you’re writing something that you’re not 100% sure is PG13 and you’re walking on a thin line to make it more “adult”, you can have two responses. That’s why you can also see some scenes here and there; they were either not flagged by the reviewer or those scenes weren’t reviewed at all after publishing, because episode doesn’t check stories often after the first review. If they do, it’s mostly because someone reported it/they want to put it on the shelf.

I agree with that mostly from @ColeCatalyst post:

  • Keep any conversations very very vague - no specific names of parts or explicit sensations/feelings or thoughts, no " and then I felt myself -"s in there Like with violence, minimalism is key.

I noticed that the less you describe, the better, so don’t suggest that they’re hard or they’re wet; even if you want to use "should feel soft, not hard.”, "I’ll have to change my laced undergarments.” It’s suggestive, and while some reviewers will pass it, some of them won’t. Remember that minors may feel uneasy with suggestions like that.


I don’t usually either but someone picked it for our bookclub story😅 I don’t remember but it was going into a good amount of detail of like how she was feeling and where hands were being placed. It was like in the first couple scenes

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Most, if not all stories have the “mature themes and strong language” warning and we all know what these warnings are for. So, if a minor is reading stories with these warnings, they should know what they are getting themselves into, because a PG-13 story shouldn’t have warnings at all.

And althought, yes the app is PG-13, we are all aware that if you have two characters kissing on a bed with clothes on, or even without shirt/pants (not fully naked) is allowed, but it’s definitely not PG-13.

The way Episode states their rules is that it can’t be “excplicit” ; “detailed” and/or “direct” which is why everything has to be kept to a minimum. But, I’ve seen scenes in stories that are definitely “suggestive” and I don’t mean just one story, I mean a lot of stories. Someone even mentioned that official stories also have scenes that are “questionable”, not sure how true this is, but I’m inclined to believe them.

So, I genuinely don’t know where to stand, because every person says different things. I just want to know the barrier. How far is too far. Because so many stories have these things and not just once, but multiple times, and I have yet to see a story get flagged because of those sentences. It really makes me wonder if it’s a gray area where Episode allows it, because it technically doesn’t break the rules, but it doesn’t 100% follow them either, or if, as you mentioned, Episode hasn’t reviewed those stories/episodes.

i think its allowed

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like I said in the first sentence: One thing: what one reviewer is seeing as okay, the other one will flag it as breaking a guideline.
No matter how much we would like to know where the line is, there is no grey scale here, because it’s very subjective for any of those who read your story. You can do whatever you want, tbh. At the end, if someone picks up and flags your story, then you’re gonna change that. I had things that I thought were totally okay, not even mentioned in the guidelines, and then I got an email saying that I had to change them (for example, mentioning and crediting websites I used for overlays/bgs). If you’re worried, just don’t go overboard and enjoy your writing.

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Alright, thank you very much! ^^

Moved to Creator’s Corner since this is about story creation. Make sure to check out our Forum Tutorial for more info about creating topics, and feel free to PM me if you’ve got questions. :grinning:

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