View Full Version : Characters who smoke/drink in fanfics?

November 16th, 2007, 9:59 AM
This has kind of been on my mind for a really long time, but I was just wondering is there some kind of policy against having characters in fics that smoke and drink. I mean, certainly these types of fics wouldn't be G-rated as opposed to PG and up. I'm bringing this up because in my upcoming short stories Week 23 and The Remote as well as in a fic I may post after Biohazard's done I have human characters that do these things. Is that okay, or would I have to rewrite these so they don't have smoking or drinking in them?

Alter Ego
November 16th, 2007, 10:15 AM
Well, Midsummer Knight's Dream has both drugs and alcohol and I haven't seen anyone have a fit about that. I say go right ahead; don't know what PG that calls for, but seeing as how blood, gore and angst are all approved I don't see why alcohol and tobacco shouldn't. They're all over TV anyway, so I hardly see any corruptive influences in it that you wouldn't get from plenty of other places anyway. xP

November 16th, 2007, 10:23 AM
That's what I was figuring since a lot of published fiction I've read deals with characters who smoke, drink, and do a lot worse stuff than that. I just wasn't sure because I thought a lot of stuff on PC was supposed to be kept 'family-friendly.' Thanks, Alter Ego. Now I can actually finish those short stories instead of fretting over that stuff.

Alter Ego
November 16th, 2007, 10:34 AM
Oh, you're only expected to keep it kiddie-friendly if you don't give any indication of things being otherwise. If it says "crazy amounts of blood, violence, drugs, and promiscuous sex" on the tin then the reader knows what they're getting themselves into by reading.

But yeah, if you didn't give an appropriate warning of that type of content then it would be against the rules. :3

Anyways, you're welcome. ^^

November 16th, 2007, 11:44 AM
Of course, just giving a warning isn't always enough. I've seen that happen multiple times. XD

It's all right to have tobacco/alcohol use in your fics. But as Alter Ego said, you should just give an appropriate warning about it in the beginning of the chapter that it takes place in.

November 16th, 2007, 1:37 PM
Well, a warning would definitely be the first thing I'd give before posting a fic or chapter of a fic that contains some kind of alcohol and tobacco. That would be a no-brainer. I was just wondering if these things were allowed here or not.

Saffire Persian
November 17th, 2007, 9:13 PM
If it's part of your characters' personalities to make them drink alcohol, smoke, etc. there's not a thing wrong with that. People do do it in the real world, after all. A note would be a nice warning for potential readers though, who might be offended by such a site. (For me, I'm not bothered so much by regular drinking, etc.) If they are going to get high and do the illegal types of drugs, then I'd definitely want a warning. XD... Though it's a fact of life. Your rating of your story should also indicate what's going to be going on in your fic as well.

Duncan McNeil
November 17th, 2007, 10:26 PM
My current fic is pretty action-oriented, so not much time for any of that. That said, there is no problem having characters smoke, drink or whatever. If that's what the character calls for, then do it. The more realistic you make your characters the better they will be, and last time I checked real people do all of those things. So, naturally it would follow that characters should as well.

Like everyone said, though, make sure to put it at the beginning so readers are warned. It's the same thing the MPAA does. Under the PG-13, or whatever rating the movie is, it says 'For violence, etc.' Fics should usually do the same, or at least IMO.

JX Valentine
November 17th, 2007, 10:47 PM
First off, I'd like to say thanks for using MKD as a reference. Also, I'm amused because that's probably the mildest thing in that fic. XD

Second (which probably has to do with the above), I never really saw smoking or drinking as something really serious. Maybe it's just that I grew up thinking that stuff like The Simpsons and Married With Children were perfectly normal for family viewing (because I'm a 90's child), but if I see something like smoking or drinking in someone else's written work, if the fic isn't centered around cigarettes or alcohol (and not in the "very special Blossom" way) and is more of a passing, "oh, hey, by the way, there's cigarettes and alcohol in this world," then I really don't think twice about it and am more likely to go, "Oh, hey, there's cigarettes and alcohol in this world. What's that Mudkip doing?"

In other words, I never really felt the need to censor things like that, really, because I never really thought of it as all that severe, particularly if the character isn't getting drunk or abusing something a bit more extreme than a cigarette and if the fanfiction isn't getting fixated in a sense on it. Which is really just another way of saying there's just worse things you could possibly do in a fanfiction that would really need a warning. You could add one if you feel the need to be safe, although I personally wouldn't bother unless I was doing a bunch of other stuff on top of a brief mentioning of alcohol or a cigarette in someone's hand.

But that's probably just me. I mean, I also grew up in the "very special Blossom" era, so I guess I just sort of expect people to understand that just because a fictional character is puffing on a cigarette every now and then doesn't mean they have to. XD

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
November 17th, 2007, 11:09 PM
Smoking and drinking are legal provided your character is of a proper age, so IMO a warning is only necessary if the character in question is underage, is drinking enough to become drunk, or is smoking an illegal substance. It's an area that I avoid in my fic, though I do use the analogy, "The Pokemon stumbled about like a drunk at a sobriety test" in several of my future chapters.

November 19th, 2007, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the thoughts on this subject, guys. I know that there's a lot of stuff out there that has people who smoke and drink. Kind of a side thought, but probably shouldn't be too worried about little stuff like because its so common. But still, when I do post the fics, they'll have a warning in the ratings anyways.

January 1st, 2008, 2:12 PM
I actually think it's rather interesting, as long as the characters have a legit motive for following such questionable habits.


January 1st, 2008, 5:41 PM
Why why why do people bump threads here? >< It's not that hard to look at the date on the last post.

Mixy, don't be breaking the rules here. It's not nice.