Um, Unbroken Chaos might have broken a law...

So, I was reading an article (link at bottom of post) and it said that writing "disturbing fiction" is illegal in my state. Now, I realize that it's a bit over the top, but to some people, it could be thought of as disturbing, since it involves teenagers killing a bunch of people and then turning into a demon-thingy. So, my questions are: is this sote a credible source? And, if so, should I take down Unbroken Chaos? Cause I would rather not have a criminal record because I wrote some stuff.

Link: http://www.cracked.com/article_19450_6-laws-youve-broken-without-even-realizing-it_p2.html


I think you'd probably be protected under the freedom of speech since that law is subjective. I'm not sure how reliable cracked.com is, I tend to take their articles with a grain of salt.


Thank you, I had never actually heard of cracked.com until last night, and I have previously heard of some of those laws, so I wasn't sure.


Well, there's outside links for all the cases the cracked article describes. It may exaggerate a bit, but it's for real - these spectacular miscarriages of justice where poorly worded laws are misapplied in sitations they were never intended for do happen. There was also a case in Canada of a high school student being expelled (can't remember if he was charged) for writing for a story about an attack on his school some time after the Columbine shootings. Stephan King came to his defense.


Note the common thread in all these cases is the paranoia of school officials over anything related to violence and attacks on schools. We know where this is coming from. You can probably write about assasins and demons all you want so long as inside schools there's nothing but puppies and rainbows. Wait, scratch the puppies, someone might be allergic.


Alternately you could play up that you're a lawbreaker and use that to increase your traffic. ;-)


So, should I take down Umbra? Because (spoiler alert) its about the teachers giving a ton of students to a demon so that it can eat their souls, and if you took out the demon, it would just be a bunch of psychopathic teachers killing their students. Also, (serious spoiler alert, basically telling the end of it) there's a pretty graphic torture scene, and a suicide by one of the students.


Well, that's not puppies and rainbows, but what would freak them out specifically is students attacking their school. Your story is clearly fantastical, which helps. I'd like to say don't worry except that you are a student, and there is some pretty paranoid stuff going on in schools nowadays. I guess you're just have to assess what the mood at your school is like and if your teachers are likely to come across your work and associate it with you.


My eight year old nephew's teacher was upset because of his fantasy drawings. He draws stuff like knights fighting monsters and sometimes the monsters win and eat the knights! His mum told him to tone it down at school but he can draw whatever he likes at home.


Meanwhile, another elementary school banned Halloween and replaced it with "Caring Day" - the kids are supposed to dress up in a costume of something "caring" rather than something scary.


The schools really are a little nuts these days (except for actual nut-nuts which are apparently banned) and it makes me glad not to have any kids in school.


My school is pretty leniant with that type of stuff, and they know I wouldn't do anything like shoot up the place (seriously, when I was younger, I had issues with threatening people, and they had me screened; I was completely normal, just without a filter), and anyway, if they find it, it'll be like my first serial (about a year and a half ago, me and a friend began writing a serial before we knew what they were; we had parodied the people at our school by giving them pseudonyms and made them extreme versions of their personalities. We got caught, and she pinned it all on me; I got out of it by saying I didn't mean any offense, blah blah blah, and they let me off with a warning. Stopped talking to the bitch that pinned it on me, though), except with an actual punishment; or, at least until my English teacher came to my rescue and got me out of it by saying how it's an allegory for human nature or the way the government is heading or something, backs it up with things from the story, and the the punishment is repealed. In other words, if I get caught, as long as it doesn't happen again, I'll be fine.


I say leave it up. I had some hard scenes to write, but I pushed myself past that comfort zone and the story was stronger for it. I still think you have the freedom of speech to back you up. I wrote some pretty disturbing things in high school and we wrote about students at school. I think it can be cathartic and more preferable than someone doing something to physically or emotionally harm someone.


I emailed my English teacher (she wouldn't report me, I'm her favorite student) and she said that as long as I don't write it about my school, and it's not worked on in school, it's fine. There are enough differences between my school and Deton that it's obvious I'm not just hiding my school behind a name and two or three differences (it's anboarding school for fucked up kids, for God's sake).


Well I doubt everyone would find it disturbing, so in a court case you'd have several clear supporters. Not that you want it to go that far. Probably just one of many laws that no one bothers about enforcing. I don't know where you're at, but some states aren't really going to do a lot of internet policing as the internet doesn't really belong to any one state.


If anyone on the federal level bothers to stop in on your story, which is slightly more likely, then they can't do a whole lot. State law, not federal. I think they have enough on their plates to worry about reporting it as long as there's no way it could be confused for a realistic plan.


I find that one useful for me at least. There's a lot of very widespread destruction and death that can happen, and even detailing how it might occur could be seen as problematic...but much less so when the plot involved demolishing a building full of exoskeleton-wearing private police using bowling balls, mayonnaise, and a semi.


At times, the fantastic way it goes can also be seen as a more cathartic type of violence. Everything going on in the world, sometimes you just want to sit back and read something where the violence can't be mistaken for what's going on in the world.


And that, by the way, is why killing someone in a way that involves shoving your hand up their rectum is the gift that keeps on giving.


theres also a big difference because you are PUBLISHING it, even if self pubbing. the main intent is to catch things that are being written and passed around as basically elaborate threatening notes.