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Possible Plot

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Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:37 am
Supermal says...

This was a really hard topic for me to decide where to put, so if you have a better idea, please tell me.
Anyways, I have this idea for a story, but I had a question.
It's about a high school psychologists file on a group of students showing the varying effects of one girls' suicide.
I'm planning on making it so that it's written in the usual form a book is usually written in as each person is interviewed. I'm thinking that there might be five or six characters (older sister, ex-boyfriend, best friend, enemy, etc.) but all will eventually be shown to have been severely effected by this one girls death, each feeling slightly responsible. After each interview, there will be a short document (sort of a diagnosis) written by the psychologist.
What I'm wondering is, would this possibly cause depression-prone people to become depressed/more depressed or even commit suicide if it were ever to be published? I have read a few articles saying that when people who are depressed read articles, books and such about suicide and depression, it has negative effects on them.
I feel for once I may be able to get this finished, but I wouldn't like to ever publish something if it would only cause harm.
Please give me your thoughts, and whether or not you like the idea for my story.
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:03 am
Crysi says...

Good question.

When I was depressed, reading about people cutting led me to do the same. However, now I know that if something is depressing/"triggering," I can't read it. I think that you should be fine as long as you make it obvious with the description that it involves a girl's suicide. Since that's the point of the book, I don't think you should have a problem with that. Sounds like a very interesting read!
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:06 am
Snoink says...

Adding a touch of hope always helps. And, if the said people are agonizing over how much they miss the person, maybe it won't be so bad...?
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Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:36 am
Griffinkeeper says...

I don't know. Showing a person that is depressed that he will be missed if he kills himself is a powerful deterrent. But, that is your call.
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Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:19 pm
CaptainJack says...

Hey there @Supermal.

I found this post way in the back of the research forum and I needed to post because stories like this have become very popular. Novels written about the effect of suicide on friends and loved ones, pops up very often in YA fiction. There was even major controversy over an adapted tv series called 13 Reasons Why.

I choose to talk about this topic all of the years after this thread was posted because no one really every answered it. And I'm sure that people with similar ideas on yws are worrying about the details of their own plots.

I've read a bit for both sides of the argument and it's going to come down to how you present it within your story.

Like if you're being respectful of the person who died, then it will most likely be an acceptable story. But if there's a lot of victim blaming going on, that's going to be negative in a lot of different ways.
Putting all the fault of someone committing suicide on them, is just another form of victim blaming. And even if a reader has not been blamed for trying to commit suicide, they can experience the act in another place. You can be blamed for being raped or bullied or just a fight within your family.

It is a sensitive topic and there are so many points for how this work might be triggering. But if there is a reader who is aware of how a story like this might be triggering to them, you do just have to rely on the warnings attached to the story.

Always be careful of attaching warnings to your stories and that's why it's helpful to have someone read it before you post it.
It may seem alright to you but another reader may point out how this could be taken the other way.

So this is a bit vague but it's a general advisement for the current writers of yws who might be having similar doubts.

The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.
— George Orwell, 1984