As for the way in which Dean died, suicide was always going to be the most interesting option dramatically. Murder would make the story into a crime or revenge drama, illness or accident didn't give the amount of dramatic scope I wanted for the length of the play. Making Dean suicidal meant that his journey would be an internal one, his battle would be with himself as well as with the characters and attitudes of the world he finds himself in. And of course, suicide is something that is frighteningly common in young men, and something we still don't talk about enough. At the time of writing, two young men who were in my year at school have committed suicide; I have met others of my age who have tried. Whilst I didn't want Dean's suicide to overshadow the rest of his character, it wasn't something that could be skirted around either. And with so many negative media depictions of the mentally ill, it seemed important that Dean would be the one character not to be a bit of an outcast - unlike the other three, he is generally easygoing, charismatic, the one we'd all want to have a pint with; but also the one who experienced despair so deep that he ended his own life.
The other side of Dean's story is his relationship with Jess - though this is arguably more life-changing for her than it is for him. This is where we see the man Dean was in happier times and, in true love story fashion, Jess becomes his main reason to keep living - or trying to live, as the case may be. When Giving up the Ghost was first workshopped in front of an audience in Glasgow, the question of whether Jess and Dean's love should triumph caused quite a debate - but you'll need to buy a ticket to find out if they get their happy ending.