Monday, August 9, 2010

Tips On Writing a Suicide Note

Tips on Writing a Good Suicide Note

1. Think about your audience. What do they want to hear? Now, write the exact opposite in a way that implicates them all.

2. An outline is a sure fire way to make sure your message comes across. Between shots of bourbon and Alice in Chains records, make sure that you have something like this:

I. My pain

a) Drug addiction

b) Ex-girlfriend

c) Phantom sexual abuse

II. Who's at fault

a) Drug dealer

b) Ex-girlfriend

c) Clown from 3rd grade birthday party

3. Write about what you know. There's no reason to make up a bunch of silly problems or conspiracies if you don't know what you're talking about. A writer from Cleveland Ohio sent me the following note before jumping off a bridge:

Everything is just too much to handle. Maria left me, the Paperworks is laying off another 25% of our workforce, and I think I have AIDS.

See, here the writer misrepresented the layoffs, which were actually more like 12% and he stated that he thought he might have AIDS – even though he has been monogamous and isn't an intravenous drug user. It's just poor writing and it leaves the reader questioning the truth and beauty behind the "tragic" suicide itself.

4. If you're going to blame yourself, don't passively/aggressively blame others. Time and time again you see the suicide letter that starts off with "It's all my fault...blah, blah, blah." But, then, midway through it jumps into a tantrum about how it's actually other people's faults. This is misleading, irresponsible, and just bad writing. If you want to put a plot twist in the letter, use the old standbys: mysterious bank numbers, names, and governmental implications.

5. Always keep them hanging. It's important to leave a line or two in about what could have been. For example "If Maria would have just accepted me instead of rejecting me, maybe I would have been able to go on." This leaves the reader on the very edge of their seats, wondering if they could have prevented your death. All the true geniuses of the suicide note left an abyss of confused, chaotic emotions behind. And the VERY best sparked additional suicides among loved ones. Look, your suicide note is not going to write itself – you have to make it work for you! I'll be back with more tips later in the week.

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