The Love Triangle. Because we all know that love and relationships are only complicated when a potential second suitor comes along, and apart from that, it’s all rainbows and good times and everyone gets along.
Waaaait a second.
My beef with the love triangle is how overused it’s become. Now, do love triangles happen in real life? Of course they do. And do they keep fiction interesting? They certainly can. But it’s become a staple, it often seems, rather than a useful tool among many others in the writer’s toolbox. I get the impression that a lot of them are added in because that’s what people are told will sell books (or other media), rather than it being in there because it helps the story and develops naturally.
Of recent love triangle fame is, of course, the Twilight series. Which is funny since this is a triangle that isn’t a triangle. Yes, I read them, and yes, I’ve seen the movies. Yes, I think it’s awful. It’s like a train wreck, I can’t look away! Plus the unintentional hilarity is fantastic. But I digress. This now hugely famous love triangle isn’t one because at really no point does Bella ever seriously consider Jacob. Briefly in New Moon, when it looks like Edward’s gone forever, but hot damn, she literally jumps on a plane to fly halfway across the world the second she learns that’s still an option! Jacob, buddy, that should’ve been your first enormous clue that she was just not that into you.
But thanks to this series, love triangles have taken on new life as a given in YA, it feels like, becoming cliche, boring, and overused in the process. Read more
You know how to write! Of course you do! You can put letters in order and they form words others can read. Writing to get someone else interested in what you’re doing is more than that. It’s presentation, it’s word choice, it’s grammar and punctuation and spelling, it’s being descriptive while being succinct. And it’s important.
1. Spelling Counts. So Do Grammar and Punctuation.
That means spell things correctly, have your commas and semi-colons in the right places and craft your words with careful thought and consideration. Don’t take shortcuts, and do have someone proofread. Have them do it twice. Then you should do it twice, no matter how smart you are, or how often you’ve done this, because you are not perfect. Case in point, I titled yesterday’s post DYI instead of DIY at first and didn’t notice until someone else pointed it out. Doh! Look at every word and dissect it to make certain it’s correct! Personally, I draft my important emails and press releases in a word doc program first — no chance of hitting send too soon!
Publicity is important to any endeavor that seeks to make a profit. Regardless of the reason for that profit, whether it’s to sustain a creative endeavor, earn an income, bring attention to a cause, share a thing of interest, or something else entirely. But getting publicity is notoriously difficult. There’s a lot of competition for people’s attention out there, and in the past, only certain channels have had the power of broadcasting your endeavor to the masses.
That was the past. This is now. And now is a world where the eager masses can give $3 million to an idea that is presented well. Where social media can sustain revolutions. Where anyone can tell the world what they have to say, and the world can hear it.
I ended up doing PR in a weird way. Ten years ago, I joined Phoenix Online as a volunteer staff writer to make a video game. A pipe dream from my youth, something that sounded fun and creative while I was in the funk of temp jobs and living at home following graduating college in 2002 as an English major with a tacked on Philosophy minor. Over the years, I ended up one of the Directors of a fledgling company, and roughly two years ago, I inherited the job of running PR.
And I kind of freaking love it.
Here’s the thing: This isn’t what I studied. I had the work of those before me to build off of. I’ve had help learning how to write a press release and reach out to the press and getting contacts to build my own press list. I’m not the kind of person who can easily go and talk to just anyone out of the blue. I don’t even like calling people on the phone. The night before my first ever interviews at PAX East 2010 I hardly slept because I was so freaking nervous.
Bottom line? I’m no expert. But despite all that, and that I almost always feel like I’m winging it, I’m certainly doing alright, and more and more lately, I’ve felt I actually have enough knowledge on how this stuff works to be able to offer advice or help people out. If I got here in a non-traditional way, anyone can.
So I’m borrowing a page from my friend Cassandra, who has successfully adopted a schedule model to keep her posting regularly on her blog, and once a week I’m going to post about things I’ve learned about Public Relations. This is no college class, this is no formal education, this is just my experience and what I’ve learned from it, and hopefully it can prove useful to someone else.
Coming now and every week: Do-It-Yourself Public Relations!
First up: my friend Gina Damico (whose blog is a source of much amusement!) has written a book, Croak (which will no doubt be another source of much amusement!), and you can now pre-order it on Amazon! Congrats to Gina and I encourage people to check her and her book out! (Just not in a sketchy way, she’s spoken for.)
This week’s weekly photo challenge is flowers. The bouquet in question–the image from the photo challenge post itself–looks undeniably like a wedding bouquet, I think we can all agree.So I could write about a wedding here, but I’m not a fan of writing about the obvious when I can twist it around. So here goes.
Leiani’s sweating palms had by now stained the cloth wrapped around the stems of her bouquet, she did not doubt. The white roses looked up at her when her eyes darted downwards at them yet again, guileless and innocent, a symbol of her own purity as she entered the ceremony. Ritual would be a better word for it, she thought. But no, they must stand on tradition, on letting the people it is a moment of joy. So it remained a ceremony.
The music-less chanting began, the signal for her to step forward down the aisle, surrounded on both sides by her peers, who looked at her with wonder, awe, and envy. Her heart beat quickly, the sweat on her brow dripping down her temples as she walked, compelled to do so by the acolytes who escorted her. My makeup will be ruined soon, at this rate. She was pretty, but they had made her beautiful for this, her wedding day. The dress was silk and lace and dripped with pearls and sparkling glass adornments, and her dark hair was curled into gorgeous waves with a few ribbons woven into it. Rouge on her cheeks, a stain of red on her lips, kohl rimmed her eyes. She looked a lovely queen to them, and a queen they believed she would become.
But the man who waited at the end of the aisle, standing with the priest at the altar they had set up by the cliff’s edge, looking over the ocean, was no man at all. He wore the fact brazenly, watching her step towards him, with eyes that had no white. She had not yet been able to determine if his eyes were simply entirely black, or if he had no eyes at all but two small openings in his false face that showed the path to oblivion. His smile held no joy or even a facsimile thereof. It was an unnatural thing that stretched his skin, and Leiani wondered how long this form would hold him, how long until his true self burst out of this vessel. Her own skin, fragile and soft and unblemished, shuddered, chill on the warm day, as she guessed it would not hold through the entirety of their wedding night.
She clutched the bouquet more tightly and gasped as a thorn beneath the wrappings pierced her flesh. She looked down, peeling her hand away, and saw a trickle of red blood trace its way over the lines of her palm, falling and staining the hem of her dress as she stepped forward. She looked up again. Somehow, he seemed angrier now, seeing the blood, the little drop of red in the sea of perfect white that covered her.
Or was it hunger?
This is for them. Without this, he would destroy us all. A mortal bride, he asked, and your name was chosen, Leiani. This saves so many. But the things she told herself to stay strong, to make her legs move her towards a damned future and a demonic husband, they did not quiet her fear for her body, her mind, her soul.
Then she was standing next to him, and the words were being spoken, and sweat stung the cut on her hand though no further blood dripped onto her dress.
“I now pronounce you…man and wife. You may kiss the bride,” the priest recited. She looked at him, and felt a ring that weighed like an iron chain upon her hand that forced her closer to him when he moved his own, and the pull of the abyss in his eyes. Then he kissed her.
It stung like fire and ice at once, the cold of a freezing day that burned the skin. She could swear her lips blistered under his, pain like a thousand tiny barbs had lined his lips and now pierced her own, a thousand points of tiny pain, a poison that passed from his flesh to hers. She felt dirty. All the makeup and the lovely dress, the long bath she’d had that morning, the perfume of roses from her bouquet, and she felt as though something were crawling on her skin, under her skin, corrupting her by the second.
This was to be her life now.
He released her, and the people cheered, cheered because they did not know her fate and they would not ask. They knew they were saved, and that was all that mattered. The ceremony sealed their fate as it had her own. Her hands felt numb and the bouquet slipped from her grasp, to the rocky ground, and rolled out to the edge. He moved his hand again, and she felt the unseen iron chain compel her to join him, their fingers twining. A thousand tiny barbs assaulting her palm, infecting her further with his corruption. They were bound together now, for eternity.
Until death do us part…
Leiani looked back at the flowers. A breeze pushed them forward, and they rolled off the cliff’s edge as she watched with envy and inspiration. A chain worked both ways, after all.
As she sprinted to the edge and leaped into the air, her husband squealed in surprise, and she heard the skin of his human form rip apart as they plummeted. But not quickly enough, as she smiled with her first true joy of her wedding day when the water’s surface broke her neck.