1. fwc577
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    fwc577 Member

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    I just had a suicidal thought

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by fwc577, Aug 14, 2012.

    Not about me, about a character and I have a question.

    I'm doing a paranormal YA type novel that is going to be a bit darker/edgier side of YA. In the same aspects of how some YA have sex in the books but other YA doesn't. etc.

    Now my novel starts out with the MC dieing in the first few chapters and being a paranormal YA people don't always stay dead. In her case, she is on her way to become a werewolf.

    In the opening chapters she is having this romantic anniversary picnic with her boyfriend (both are 17) and I thought about having him give her a promise ring. Then things kinda go to shit. They end up in a cave and before they escape to safety she gets mortally wounded by the wolf.

    When she wakes up she is going to be in the hospital but it is going to be a little over a week later and she is going to find out that she actually died and was sitting on a slab in the morgue and when the corner went to do an autopsy and cut into her she bled (which doesn't happen because the heart stops).

    The realization hit me that it is possible in the meantime, when everyone thought she was dead, her boyfriend might actually commit suicide.

    Now, the question is, is this far to dark for a YA novel?
     
  2. Bell City Fires
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    Bell City Fires Member

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    No. Just about every grade nine English class reads (if they haven't already) Romeo and Juliet. Romeo offs himself when he thinks Juliet had passed. I don't see this shattering any new ground for people to be outraged about.
     
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  3. fwc577
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    fwc577 Member

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    Ah yes, good point. I hadn't thought of that.

    My other option that I was mulling over was later after she's back having them break off after a steamy encounter where she starts to "go wolf" and it would mirror a part of their earlier steamy scene.

    Hmm, its a tough decision but now that I think about it, while having him suicide off would be emotional, having him breakup with her might actually be worse and could occur a little later in the middle of the story.
     
  4. kmretterath12
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    kmretterath12 New Member

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    I completely agree with Bell City Fires. Although it does happen early in the novel, I don't see how the boyfriend committing suicide would cause issues. It would also give the MC something else to overcome or give her the incentive/drive to change between werewolf and human.
     
  5. kmretterath12
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    kmretterath12 New Member

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    True, and either way would work. In my opinion though, making him commit suicide would be less expected in a YA novel than having him break up with her later on.
     
  6. fwc577
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    fwc577 Member

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    See, I know. Which is why I'm so torn up on this issue.

    If he commits suicide I have a huge angle of depression and suvivors guilt that can play a role in the story.

    If he lives, I can have him "kinda" take a break from her after the whole "wolf out" when things get steamy then return later and attempt to come to her aid only to get whacked off doing so.

    If he lives, I can have him eventually break up which will cause depression etc on top of the other stuff she finds she has to deal with and he could be somewhat of a future antagonist.
     
  7. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    I have to disagree that it would be unexpected in a YA novel.

    When I read the idea that he kills himself my very first thought was "just like in Romeo and Juliet."

    I mean, exactly like R&J. It is so similar that it may even come off like you ripped off Shakespeare.

    Considering, as noted earlier, that every ninth grader has to read R&J, I don't think the similarity will be lost on anyone.

    So, if he commits suicide, the only think separating you from the Bard of Avon is what you do after the death. So, focusing on guilt and rebuilding a life in the wake of a tragedy like this.

    But still, it looks really really derivative. You can definitely do it, but you have to execute it perfectly.
     
  8. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Eh... I wouldn't even worry about looking like a rip off of Romeo and Juliet, when you go to the movies and every Romantic Comedy essentially is the same plot but with slightly different characters and setting... the same goes for almost every action movie.
     
  9. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    My point is that it's been done.

    If you want to use large chunks of R&J, I hope you are at least trying to do something innovative with it.

    If you are reselling the same story with a slightly different setting and characters, why write it? It's already been written. And Hollywood churning out the same garbage isn't really the best justification.

    Look, if you want to innovate the same old theme, it can be done. No one looks at R&J as a ripoff. It is viewed as a modern interpretation. Im not saying you shouldn't use the suicide. I'm just saying that if you do use it, be careful you don't just regurgitate Shakespeare. Innovate, do something crazy or different with it, just make sure you add your own voice.
     
  10. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I didn't really elaborate much on my previous point, but basically I wanted to say that we shouldn't be afraid of writing something solely because someone might come along and say "you basically just wrote Romeo and Juliet with werewolves, this sucks". Because first of all, the fact that they both die at the end IMO isn't even the most significant/identifying thing about that famous play anyway. It's the fact that both Romeo and Juliet came from families that hated each others guts (again, IMO). Hollywood churning out garbage IS the best justification, because you don't see too many people going "well, I don't want to go see the Matrix because I heard it has similarities to some other movie... it's not original". The fact that millions of people still watch those movies tells you that it doesn't bother them. At the end of the day, everything has been done and what matters is how you pull it off rather than the plot itself.

    Now, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. I don't necessarily think this is the wrong way.
     
  11. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Trying to be original doesn't hurt at a point, but yes, there is a point where originality is less important. Besides, the nuances of the execution can make it feel different to a degree the basic synopsis isn't. So giving it a grungy modern feel, I would suggest that, would differentiate it from the high classical feel of Shakespeare. And please, don't do a romanticized version of werewolves. They're supposed to be scary. So make it a bit freaky for her, and don't make it easy to deal with. It doesn't have to make here a monster. But some struggling with predatory instinct stuff would be nice.
     

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