1. hawky94
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    hawky94 Active Member

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    Suicide Notes.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by hawky94, Mar 17, 2011.

    Hi everyone, I realise that this may be a very hard subject to talk about. If the mods feel that it's too much to talk about, then please feel free to delete it. But I'm writing a short story for my English class, my Main Character is a soldier in Afghanistan, he's been through hell - broken childhood, and then all the hell of war.

    He writes a letter to his girlfriend pouring out all of his thoughts into this one letter which concludes with: I'm sorry, I love you. He then kills himself.

    This is written in first person, so I need to put myself in the mind of a soldier whose been through hell on earth before I write this story and letter. If anybody could help, if you've seen active service, perhaps you could write about it, either on here or PM me. Just so I can paint an accurate picture - having never seen active service myself.

    Thank you. hawky94
     
  2. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    i would google mental illness to try to get a better understanding of the depth his despair ....maybe the is a sucide surivor type forum you can lurk on , my mc goes thru a sucidal phase i will need to do this research soon....my mental illness thing was based on his age schizophrenia often rears it's ugly head in young adulthood
     
  3. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    The best thing I can tell you is to research PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and maybe do some research on the war. I'm not a big war movie buff, but I can tell you the movie "We Were Soldiers" is a phenomenal depiction of the vietnam war, from the american soldiers view. ( I know this because I watched it with my father, who served in that war). Also, Killian had sound advice. Good luck to you.

    (warning: The movie is quite realistic and gory in places, so be prepared if you go that route)
     
  4. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    My question would be how much depth do we need for this character, if he is just a drive by player we can chalk it up to post tramatic stress and move on. If he plays a bigger role dead or alive we need to get to the what as in what caused his ptsd...maybe he suffers from shame , guilt and remorse for something he failed to do that killed others
     
  5. hawky94
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    hawky94 Active Member

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    Well, I thank you all for your help, this helped massively. :)
     
  6. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Why not go to your local veteran's administration office and tell them you're doing a paper on soldiers who have seen active service and see if you can get an interview.
     
  7. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    Some people can go through hell and decide that they still wish to live. Others can go through so little and find that life is too tough to handle.

    Be sure that you do not rely on simply having the character go through hell. Often coping with the hell of war is the baggage but perhaps not the 'thing' that turns the person to make such a decision.

    Things you want to consider is what was the person's mental state prior to the military experience. What did they have in their life prior? What has happened since. It is less likely that a person would kill over a recollection of expreiences but more of a current event (ie - a person may not feel they are a good lover anymore because they are too hardened now etc...).

    Point being is that if someone has survived combat, they are a survivor because the chose to take steps not to die during it. So, it has to be an event or issue that the MC's life turns on. The combat experience can inform the decision but is not so much a cause.

    Just my opinion.
     
  8. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Y'all hear about the Russian author who committed suicide by jumping off the top of his suicide note?
     
  9. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Not enough info...

    What motivates this character to suicide? The death of his child? Has he been diagnosed with a terminal disease? Is he having trouble coping with the fact that he accidentally killed some unarmed civilians in a firefight? Is he manic depressive to begin with?

    The nature and composition of his suicide note would depend on what happened and why he is committing suicide.

    I'm not certain that the conflict in Afghanistan constitutes "hell on earth". Yes there is fighting and combatants being killed on both sides, but terms like "hell on earth" are typically reserved for major conflicts like world war one, also known as "The Great War", where armies numbering in the millions on all sides collided in Europe, saw the introduction of new weapons that were far deadlier than used in previous wars (such as chlorine gas and the introduction of the machine gun and the tank to modern mechanized warfare), with years of unending artillery falling non-stop that actually did change the topography features of the landscape, leveling hills, rounding off mountains, burning gigantic national forests to the ground and one specific battle, The battle of the Somm, resulted in literally millions of soldiers killed in action in an unceasing battle that stretched the better part of a year all by itself. Such grand scale conflicts deserve the moniker "Hell on Earth" and in comparison, the present conflict in Afghanistan is little more than a police action.

    Not to diminish the sacrifice or suffering in the Afghanistan conflict, I'm merely quibbling about the terminology used to describe said conflict.
     
  10. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    How about watching the History Channel's WWII in HD? I personally taped all ten jarring episoes, and the whole experience was changing in a way. I should actually watch one soon. It makes me just realize how blessed I really am.

    But if you want to get a feel of the modern times, I'd suggest watching the oscar-nominated wartime documentary, Restrepo. The film makers went into the front deep in Afghanistan and actually took bunk with soldiers fighting in the hottest spot of conflict: the Korengal Valley.
     
  11. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    What about Restrepo? It was released last year by National Geographic. It follows a platoon of American soldiers in an enclosed enemy valley in Afghanistan. It was a heartfelt and sobering documentary, and it gripped me for days after watching it.
     

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