IN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHS

Dear Ella and Susan,

Since school has been over, I've had time to start reading for pleasure again. Recently I picked up the Divergent series. I finished it within three days, and sobbed uncontrollably at the death of some characters. As a result, I have been grieving in a very real way for people that do not exist. What would you suggest to help me heal from these literary deaths?

Yours,
In Mourning
Dear Mourning,
We are completely sympathetic with your plight - some of our own most devastating heartbreaks have been entirely caused by the loss of fictional loves. Funnily enough, we have just started reading that series ourselves - and are loving it! We too, are devastated by some of the character's deaths. It could well be that you are grieving something else, and your strong reaction to these fictional losses is a way that you can express a deep pain that needs to be brought to the surface. Therefore it may be no bad thing to be suffering over characters in a book. However a great way to recover from the mourning that you are inevitably feeling, is to read around the subject. Go to Veronica Roth's website,  http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.co.uk/p/books.html, and read the extras that you can find there - for instance, you can read the knife-throwing scene in Chapter 13 from Tobias' perspective. There is also a lot of her thoughts about the process of writing the trilogy - and it is fascinating! Many scenes are explored from different perspectives, she writes very clearly about the process of creating the stories. You could spend a few hours reading all this, and the experience would definitely help you - perhaps distancing yourself from the characters by taking a step back into the mind of the author, would also be helpful.
The next best thing is to write down some of the things you felt about the characters in your reading notebook. We write about keeping notebooks in The Novel Cure - everyone should keep a diary of their reading, and each time they finish a book, they should write down a few key points about it, as well as some reflections and quotes. This process prolongs your contact with the book, and helps you to step back from it a little. Write down a few things you will particularly remember, and some scenes that you found most shocking or harrowing.
Finally, you need to discover some other books to read that will grip you, and leave you, we hope, less heartbroken. Have you read Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking Trilogy? They are also brilliant, challenging and thought-provoking. And for a calmer, less harrowing read, something totally immersive but not imbued with tragedy, The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber is a book that takes you into 18th century London, where a prostitute called Sugar desperately seeks a way to escape from her fate of being the most desired whore in London.
We prescribe - Keep a reading notebook
Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

TWEETS
@THENOVELCURE

A - Z
LIST
OF QUESTIONS

A SLUG WITH VISIONS OF HUMANITYABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP ENDED, LEAVING SCARSADULT ACNEAFRAID OF FAILUREALCOHOLIC DAUGHTERALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEAAlways wanted to be a writerANOREXICANXIOUS ABOUT SINGLE FRIENDAT A FORK IN THE ROADAVID READER, LACKING BOOKBEREFT OF A CATBORED IN ALABAMABOTHERED AND BEWILDEREDBRAIN SHRINKING MOMMABROKENBROKEN HEARTBROKEN HEARTED - TORN BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE BEST FRIENDSBROKEN UP WITH GIRLFRIEND; FEELING BURNT OUTCAN’T MOVE ONCANDIDA REVOLTAIRECan’t afford to go on holidayCAST ASIDECHEATEDCHRONIC PAINCOLD HANDS AND FEETCONCERNED ABOUT DAUGHTERCONFLICTED PARTNERSCRAVING FOOD CULTURECYNICAL STEPSONDAILY ABUSEDARK NIGHT OF THE SOULDEPRESSED AND UNABLE TO READDEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS, AND LONELY NOWDESPERATELY WANTON GIRLDIRECTIONLESSEASILY BORED WITH NOVELSEMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHEREMOTIONS IN EXTREMEEVER THE FRIEND AND NOT THE PARTNEREXTREME ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONFADING AWAYFALLEN OUT WITH MY FRIENDSFALLING IN LOVE WAY TOO FASTFAZED AND CONFLICTEDFEAR OF CONFRONTATIONFEAR OF GETTING OLDFERTILITY PROBLEMSFOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)FORGING A BRIGHT NEW FUTUREFRIEND WHO HAS LOST A CHILD LATE IN PREGNANCYFRIENDS DAUGHTER LOST TO SUICIDEFrightened of lifeGAPING HOLEGetting over a break-upGIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULESGIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT INGRIPPED BY LOSSGUILTY FRIENDHOPELESSNESSHOUSE AND LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FIREI love music more than booksI no longer commute – and therefore I no longer readI PEEK AT THE END OF NOVELS BECAUSE I WORRY THE CHARACTER MIGHT NOT MAKE ITI wish I were famousIN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHSINABILITY TO SIT STILL AND ANXIETYINCONSISTENT AND NON-STUDIOUS- BUT AMBITIOUS NONETHELESSINDECISIVEINSECUREINTERESTED IN EVERYTHING BUT ACHIEVING NOTHINGINVISIBLE WOMANITALIAN NOVEL CURESJILTED AND UNSUREJOB IN LIBRARY UNDER THREATKICKED IN THE HEADLEADENLIVING ON THE MARGINSLONE RANGERLONELY AND DEJECTEDLONELY IN LOVELONELY IN MONOTONOUS JOB, LOSING SANITYLOOKING FOR A SENSE OF PURPOSELOOKING FORWARDSLOSS OF A SISTERLOSTLOW WATTAGELOW-ENERGY PESSIMISMMAD SCIENTISTMARRIED TO A MAN, ATTRACTED TO WOMENMISSED THE BOATMISSING MY MOTHER-IN-LAWMUM GOING BACK TO WORKNEED TO LET GONEW CITY, NEW LIFE -BOOKS FOR 12 YEAR OLD BOY?NEW FRIENDSHIP WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORNIGHTMARISH COLLEAGUENOMADIC FLANEURPOST NATAL DEPRESSIONPREGNANT AND ALONE