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This is a fairly simple, straightforward question that I hope I can get an answer to. Where is the line of separation between an effectively dark storytelling and trying too hard to be edgy with risque or offensive subjects? There should be a clear distinction between nihilism for the purpose of story and nihilism for the sake of coming off as cool, and I’d love to know.

  • Can you be a bit more specific about what you mean by "dark and morose"? – Nicol Bolas May 4 at 3:54
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    Welcome to Writing.SE. I'm a bit confused by your question though. What is an "edgelord" and what does "2Edgy" mean? What you are asking in the body of the question does not at all match your title. Could you please edit it to indicate if you want to know about effectiveness or about a distinction between two things? And define those things. You mention the catch phrases and also nihilism. But the title is about dark and morose, which is not the same thing. – Cyn says make Monica whole May 4 at 4:15
  • Okay, maybe I should explain: Someone who attempts to seem edgy by doing or saying risque or offensive things, and 2edgy is when a meme or a joke goes too far. Basically, it's the difference between using a dark tone to have a point and filling a story with violence and blood and swearing and guns to be "mature" and "Adult" – The Murder of Angela Tyler May 4 at 4:39
  • Neither edgelord nor 2edgy are English words. It's still not clear what you mean by edgelord, but it seems that when you say 2edgy you actually mean too edgy. It would be helpful if you didn't use slang, but actual words instead. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 4 at 9:55
  • You want a "clear distinction" and a "clear line", but then you use subjective words like "cool" and "effective". When you can clearly define the distinction between a "cool" story and an "effective" story verses what isn't, you will have answered your own question. – wetcircuit May 4 at 10:44
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Yes, there is a clear distinction. Everything you put into your story should tie in with your plot. If you are adding stuff merely for shock value then it doesn't belong. If you want your story to be edgy, dark, morose, mature, etc., that's fine, and doable, as long as it moves your story forward.

The best way to determine whether or not you have crossed the line into writing just to be "cool" is to ask yourself these questions every time you come up with a questionable scene/event.

  1. How does this move my story forward? --Every scene should have an effect on the plot. It might speed it up, slow it down or change the direction it's moving. There maybe a learning experience needed or item discovered that will be used later. If you can take a scene/event out of your story without changing the story, then it doesn't belong.

  2. How does this scene effect my characters? --If a character doesn't care about someone dying, then your readers won't either, no matter how gruesome or tragic it is. If your character does care, you still need to show how it effects her motivation, and thus the plot.

As far as the interesting terms you've used, "2edgy" sounds like a great tool for a plot or plot twist, as long as it doesn't go off on a tangent. And "edgelord" could lend itself to some fun character development that could play into your story.

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