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Old 12-19-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
E Ballz
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Words Kill Me: Inside the mind of a school shooter

Hey yall,

So I wrote this short story, Words Kill Me, months ago about a troubled mute teenager who went on a school shooting spree. Given recent events, I decided to promote the book through Amazon. Now, I knew this would be a controversial thing to do. Initially the book received average ratings because it was poorly edited and formatted (my fault entirely). It also received average ratings because some readers believed the premise (that bullying and mutism can lead to unconscionable violence) was a stretch.

I've been told that the book is 'exploiting' the deaths of the students. This is not my intention at all. My goal was this: To draw attention to the book by using the recent events as a call to awareness. I want people to read my book because I do not think it's far-fetched, and I think it does capture the fractured irrationality of minds that turn to such horrific acts. I am not attempting to glorify violence or killers. I am trying to delve into the psychology of a school shooter, to open readers' minds to a very real, very alarming evil that can and does inhabit our nations' youth. That being said, I realize the book will still offend many people... and so I ask an honest question to any potential readers:

Should I pull the book from Amazon? Is it wrong of me to want to draw attention to a character much like the real-life murderer? A character who has trouble with his parents, who suffers from an isolating condition, who lacks communication--is it wrong of me to want to bring attention to the mental health debate?

Thanks for listening, I appreciate any feedback. And if you hate me for doing this, no hard feelings... I always had good intentions
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:43 AM   #2
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I don't think it's far fetched at all. Those who are bullied can sometimes break under the strain and if they have access to weapons when they do I could see it being bad. You're also not the 1st to write about such a scenario by far. Stephen King wrote one of his "Bachman books" about a teenager who went on a shooting spree at school. Its title was "Rage" and Mr. King pulled it from circulation after Columbine. He didn't want to worry that his book might inspire a shooter (or so I understand) but I think it's likely such would have done it anyway (under some other excuse). I mean if they pulled all the murder mysteries off of shelves there would still be those who commit murder after all. I don't know if I'd want to link my story with recent events though as a matter of good taste if nothing else.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E Ballz View Post
Hey yall,

So I wrote this short story, Words Kill Me, months ago about a troubled mute teenager who went on a school shooting spree. Given recent events, I decided to promote the book through Amazon. Now, I knew this would be a controversial thing to do. Initially the book received average ratings because it was poorly edited and formatted (my fault entirely). It also received average ratings because some readers believed the premise (that bullying and mutism can lead to unconscionable violence) was a stretch.

I've been told that the book is 'exploiting' the deaths of the students. This is not my intention at all. My goal was this: To draw attention to the book by using the recent events as a call to awareness. I want people to read my book because I do not think it's far-fetched, and I think it does capture the fractured irrationality of minds that turn to such horrific acts. I am not attempting to glorify violence or killers. I am trying to delve into the psychology of a school shooter, to open readers' minds to a very real, very alarming evil that can and does inhabit our nations' youth. That being said, I realize the book will still offend many people... and so I ask an honest question to any potential readers:

Should I pull the book from Amazon? Is it wrong of me to want to draw attention to a character much like the real-life murderer? A character who has trouble with his parents, who suffers from an isolating condition, who lacks communication--is it wrong of me to want to bring attention to the mental health debate?

Thanks for listening, I appreciate any feedback. And if you hate me for doing this, no hard feelings... I always had good intentions
You are exploiting the controversy, you even say so yourself with lines like, "Given recent events, I decided to promote the book through Amazon..." I'm not trying to condemn you, but be honest; hoping that a tragedy will drive sales of your story is exploitive.

That said though, I think it could be an interesting story if it actually delves into the actual psychology of a school shooter and explores what makes such a person tick. When you say that you think your story "does capture the fractured irrationality of minds that turn to such horrific acts", what are you basing that on? Did you do some research on the psychology of school shooters, or did you guess at it? If it's the former, then the story becomes (to my mind) more defensible as it might actually be adding something to the conversation. If it's the latter, then it just seems crass and exploitative.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:13 AM   #4
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I hear ya. I changed the description so hopefully it no longer seems that way.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:38 PM   #5
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