Death seems to be a pretty common topic on this site. Some example topics:

I was recently retagging some of these question in my efforts to remove the story tag. I went to tag this question with only to discover it didn't exist, which surprised me.

Should we create a tag? Do we need a subtag for as well?

  • While I am not convinced that death is a needed tag, I definitely say NO to the idea of character-death or any subtag.
    – Cyn
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 2:04
  • 1
    @Cyn Why? character death is a pretty common thing for someone to want to ask about. I can imagine a distinction between death of a character and death in general. Though it is probably unnecessary and a single death tag would suffice.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 2:06
  • 2
    If we add the tag, one tag will suffice. We don't tend to have sub-tags as a general rule and I don't see a reason to make an exception. What deaths exactly would not be character deaths?
    – Cyn
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 2:10
  • @Cyn The "death as a person" or "death as a concept" type writing where no characters actually die but the topic is explored.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 2:11
  • I see. So characters talking about the meaning of death or impending death, or whatever. Yeah, that would be super confusing to have two tags. Not that I think at this point there ought to even be one.
    – Cyn
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 2:17

2 Answers 2


Yes we should add the tag.

Using Secespitus' excellent tag creation question for this situation.

1. Ask yourself how many questions you have about this topic: is this probably the only one or is this a topic you want to ask about more regularly?

I can imagine a few questions I may like to ask related to death. Specifically relating to writing a eulogy and dealing with the plot fallout of a major characters death.

2. Look through the existing questions: how many already use the word or similar words and might profit from the tag?

I already found 177 questions that may use this tag. It is a very common topic and many of those would benefit from the tags existence.

3. Look through the existing tags: is one of them already encompassing what you are trying to convey?

No existing tags even come vaguely close to this topic. This is the main reason I raised this because there is no suitable tag for questions about it.

4. Look through Meta: have there been similar requests or precedent cases where something similar has been created/denied?

The only meta post that comes up in a search is discussing a specific question where this tag would have been useful. There has been no previous discussion about creating a tag for it.

5. Think about the sites scope: do you think that a lot of people will profit from these tags when they are asking questions about the specific topic of the site you are on?

I can see plenty of scope for this to be beneficial to the site. Adding tags like this helped the related links to be more relevant to the actual question. Currently if reading a question about death you would have to search to find other, similar questions. By adding the tags it would make them show up in the related list. This would also help to reduce the number of duplicates we receive as related questions show up when asking a question.

6. Think about the tag's scope: is it well-defined and obvious to users coming to the site?

With a decent tag wiki and usage guidance I can't see how this tag would be confusing. "This tag is for questions about death in writing. Portraying character deaths and discussions on the concept of death should all use this tag.". Seems obvious to me.

Combining all these things I think that yes we should create this tag. It is useful, well-defined and popular. I don't see a clear case for making an additional tag for character-death at this stage. A single tag should be sufficient to cover both topics.

Suggested tag wiki

Tag Info:

This tag is for questions about death in writing. Portraying character deaths and discussions on the concept of death should all use this tag.

Tag Wiki:

Death is a concept commonly explored in all forms of writing. This tag should be used for any question which relates to the topic of death, including the deaths of , representing death within the , portraying death as a concept, and the implications of death within a work.

Examples of questions that should use this tag:

Related tags:

  • I'm in favour of adding it.
    – Liquid
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 12:47


In the questions listed above the word "death" is an incidental and not the core of the question. In fact the same questions could have rephrased replacing "death" with "marriage" (or "salami" for that matters), and still be valid (albeit sometimes humorous) questions.

Rationale for no.

In my opinion, tags are useful when they related to large categories of question cores, let's not have an unnecessary proliferation of tags related to incidentals. On the other hand, if we have to let them proliferate, then let's be systematic.

Proof of replaceability of incidentals

Characters dealing with marriage:

  • Character motivations facing marriage?

Writing character marriages:

  • What makes a good marriage scene?
  • What makes the marriage of a character satisfying?
  • What to avoid when foreshadowing a marriage?

The role of marriage in creative works:

  • Can a novel without any marriage be taken seriously?
  • What does the marriage of a fictional character mean?
  • marriage as person - A funny part of the story? Or serious stuff?

And a whole host of other topics:

  • (original claim) 177 questions use the word death
  • 16 questions use the word "marriage" (162 with the word "fear", which would probably be a better starting choice for my claim...)

Note 1: while equating marriage with death is a staple of a certain branch of comedy, I am not necessarily a proponent of such humour.

Note 2: there are zero questions with the word "salami". This is now a surprise.

  • 5
    I now fully expect that our next writing challenge will involve salami in some manner.
    – user
    Commented Jun 16, 2019 at 19:24
  • 6
    TBH. If there were 177 questions about marriage I would be advocating for a tag for that as well. There is only 16 and most of them aren't about marriage. I don't actually think this is a good argument.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 0:51
  • 2
    @aCVn Well. I'll make that happen.
    – Liquid
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 12:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .