Suicide and writing

I realize this isn’t a fun thing to talk about…

Just because of the brain I have, when I write, I invariably include a suicide that one of my protagonists has had to endure, usually a close family member. I find that this brings a rich vulnerability to the character, and makes them far more human. It gives them a depth of emotional range that is a rich pallet to write about.

Let me just say that suicide is the ultimate form of terrorism. It destroys those that are left behind. It ruins those that must go on. Lives are shattered, forever. Those that remain will be asking ‘why’ until the day they die.

However, as someone who has dealt with mental illness, I understand the need to want to kill the pain. I understand the suffering that says you can’t go on. But here is the thing: You can go on. You can get better. I’ve lost two close friends to suicide, and I wish I could bring them back, because it does get better. Depression is a transient illness.

Anyway, back to writing. When you have a character that has suffered that kind of loss, the range of emotions you get to play with, as a writer, increases dramatically. The character can become more believable, more rich in their emotional depth. Good writing is drama, and drama is conflict, and nothing conflicts better than those that have suffered.

I would be remiss if I did not mention this, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Hope everybody’s well! Take care,

Andrick

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