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Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 8:02:07 PM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 2/20/2014
Posts: 51
Location: Where Jupiter aligns with Mars
Not sure where to ask this.

I'm nearly finished a fifty chapter coming of age story. Twenty chapters are published and number twenty-one is in for review. The work takes a consistent and condemning view toward non-consensual sex.

In a chapter to be submitted in a few days one character becomes obsessed with another, and becomes sexually subservient. Neither character realizes that a form of mental illness is actually afoot. As soon as the situation is clarified the relationship is abruptly ended. The ill character gets help and the other character realizes the predatory nature of his actions and is beyond contrite. Will that violate the rape content policy?

If so, I have a great deal of work to do because the fact of the mental illness, but not the sexual subservience, drives huge swaths of the rest of the work. I can re-do the piece if necessary obviously.

In a chapter still about a month away from submission yet another character assaults someone, a new character introduced in this specific scene. The assault is stopped before it becomes actual rape. Not only is the rape not consummated, the assailant and his accomplices pay a heavy legal price for their actions. The victim of the assault drives about a quarter of the remainder of the work. His relationship with his rescuers is a key sub-plot.

Without the foiled assault, which is clearly an attempt at rape, I'm in a real pickle so to speak. Yes, I can fix it. If it does not need to be fixed I will breathe a sigh of relief. The ready alternatives to the assault are far less compelling.

Is my best move to submit the chapters in question and write a note to the reviewer that I need to be sure I am in compliance, please do not publish yet?

Thanks to all.
Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 8:11:42 PM

Rank: Internet Philosopher

Joined: 8/14/2009
Posts: 6,154
The aborted assault might be okay depending on how it is actually portrayed. Extreme violence will be a negative factor as well as would be the case if the attacker was treated sympathetically in the narration. If he is an obvious villian and the attack is thwarted, it should pass. I've written such a scene but in that she had willingly put herself in danger and like yours, the attack was stopped. That was in an eBook called Kelly's Passion.

Having someone actually have sex due to mental illness is more difficult. I believe that, at best it will require discussion among the moderating staff.

I know what Love is.
Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 8:54:36 PM

Rank: Sophisticate

Joined: 8/23/2011
Posts: 5,039
Location: Canada
We cannot give you an advance ruling regarding compliance with site guidelines based on a summary. The issues will have to be assessed in the context of the story for a final decision to be made.

I can however tell you some general principles. We expect the site guidelines to be complied with in letter and in spirit. Descriptions of rape will not be published here. Any sexual activity must be based on consent. Mental illness would diminish the capacity for someone to give that consent, so the sexual activity would not be permitted in a story.

Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2014 10:39:33 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 2/20/2014
Posts: 51
Location: Where Jupiter aligns with Mars

Many thanks, not least for the absence of platitudes and condescension. You treated it as the serious question it is and presumed that anyone asking that question would have done some hard thinking before posing it.

I'm going to submit (separately) the two potentially-offending chapters with a request that neither be published until its immediate predecessor has been verified. Note will explain context and link to the foundation for the mental illness situation which, by the way, is genuine. I respect the time and talent of the mods and do not want to waste either. If nobody ever gets to reviewing the submissions, I don't need an explanation. You've already got plenty to do.

Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2014 1:17:57 PM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 2/20/2014
Posts: 51
Location: Where Jupiter aligns with Mars

I was rude to you when I responded only to Milik and let readers infer that I thought you had used platitudes and condescension. That is unforgivable behavior on my part, especially egregious in a public forum. This was compounded by biting the hand that is offering to feed you.

My "damning with no praise" was uncalled for, puerile and shameful. And I am ashamed. You deserve better. Please accept my apology.

I will do my utmost to make a new mistake next time.
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