CW: Suicidal ideation
*** SPOILERS BELOW ***
It’s strange to think that this book is finally finished. It feels like forever ago that I started writing The Album…probably because it was. I definitely thought that writing Gabriel’s version would be easier than it turned out to be. One of my readers kept warning me, she was like, “Gabriel gets really bad”, but I was so busy worrying about writing Harrison’s Album that I forgot exactly how bad Gabriel got.
I always knew that The Fifteenth Song would have to be more than one chapter in Gabriel’s Album. Where Ariana got to experience those two weeks in the course of an evening through the voicemails, we would have to live through it in Gabriel’s book. I was expecting to split it into two parts…it ended up being four.
My intention with the voicemails was always to show Gabriel going through the different stages of grief, and this actually worked well with the four parts to the song. The first of the four chapters is denial, the second is anger, the third is bargaining, and the fourth is both depression and acceptance (the last one being literally the final voicemail).
I was so pleased when I figured out the naming convention for these chapters, too! Originally, I just had “The Fifteenth Song (Part One)” and then when I was writing “The Fifteenth Song (Part Two)”, it came to me. So, the final chapter names are:
The Fifteenth Song (First Verse)
The Fifteenth Song (Chorus)
The Fifteenth Song (Second Verse)
The Fifteenth Song (Bridge)
It just works so perfectly! An added bonus is that the song it’s based on is “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects, and anger is the chorus chapter…that chorus is pretty darn angry!
I’m also working on the trigger warning page for my website. In the beginning of the book, it’s going to say, “This book contains adult themes. It’s intended for mature audiences. If you wish to read about specific trigger information, please click this link.”
When they click the link, they’ll be taken to a page that advises it contains scenes of suicidal ideation. This way, I can give the trigger warning without giving spoilers to people who don’t need the warning.
See, the thing is, I was so busy worrying about being in Harrison’s head that I forgot that I was going to have to literally get into a suicidal mindset to write Gabriel’s book.
I’m not going to lie, it was hard. I sent the scene to a couple of close friends (with a content warning, of course), and then first advised that they’re in a bad place at the moment and couldn’t read it, and the other said that it was definitely accurate. I mean, I knew that.
I grew up being told that, “People who say they want to commit suicide are just seeking attention. People who are really going to do it don’t say anything.”
That idea is so harmful. I know that there is a big difference between suicidal ideation and suicidal intent, but that does not mean that people suffering from suicidal ideation aren’t in a great deal of emotional pain. So, I wanted to depict this in a real and true way.
I’m going to get real personal right now, but I drew on my own experiences for that. The fear of having the thoughts at all, and the relief when deciding to actually tell someone. Also, having a wonderful support person who takes it seriously and doesn’t just write you off as an attention seeker.
To be fair, nobody came into the toilet with me, though lol. But if you’re having thoughts like these, please, please tell someone and get help. You don’t have to suffer alone. 💗
I’m going to end this by saying that the scenes of suicidal ideation are a very small portion of the book, it comes down to a few really shitty paragraphs, but they very much hurt to read. All in all, I absolutely love the book and these characters. Seeing everything from Gabriel’s point of view was amazing, and I loved seeing Ariana from his point of view…even though people are just going to hate Ariana more when they read this book (you can read my Goodreads review of it by clicking this link).
As in The Album, everything from Encore onwards is amazing because Ariana is in a much better mental state.
Anyway, I’m off to torture the shit out of myself by writing Harrison’s Wedding…YAY!