By Sophie McNeill
I have always maintained that love triangles are just frustrating for a reader! I always hate when something comes between my two favourite characters in a book. In Twilight it was Bella, Jacob and Edward and in The Hunger Games it was Katniss, Peeta and Gale. For all of those fans out there I am team Edward and team Peeta! Always! It used to drive me crazy when I would read about Katniss choosing Gale and finally choosing Peeta in the last chapter! In any book it would drive me mad.
However after writing Thunderstorm and now I'm in the middle of editing my second book which should be available shortly I have realised that that is the whole point of a love triangle. Not to drive people crazy but to ignite that passion in people! If someone takes the time to sit down and read your book and develop such strong emotions towards your characters then you have done your job as a writer.
I always write for myself, what I would want to read in a book, what I think should have happened, things like that. After publishing Thunderstorm though I'm a little more concerned about what my readers want, how they feel about the characters and where the story is going.
Despite how frustrated I get with love triangles I find that writing them is so fun! It's so entertaining to watch two people fight over one person. Especially for the person they're fighting over. All of those awkward silences, the issues that are never resolved, the mixed feelings that make the character uncomfortable to show affection to either.
I must admit that I have grown to appreciate the love triangle. Despite my earlier misgivings I enjoy writing about the difficulties faced by two people who care for each other and one character's decision that will affect two of the most important people in their life. I find myself even introducing characters that were not in the original draft just to add to the fun.
However just because there is a love triangle it does not mean that the character should only make his/her decision in the last chapter. Even though he/she has decided, as is seen in Twilight, jealousy can be a fun emotion to play with too. One thing about love is that you never give up, even when it seems that you have lost!
Please upload any thoughts you have on love triangles :-)
I'm a comic book illustrator and script writer (in addition to other things), I know that a lot of people out there do not consider comic books a real literary art form and something "just for kids" despite all the media around comic books and what they inspire (IE: Movies, etc) so, considering this is on the topic of writing, do you consider comic book writing "real" writing or not?
Please discuss why or why not, I'm just opening a friendly discussion on the topic which many decide not to prod.
Following a convoluted thought process after reading Hazel's comment on this thread: http://www.bookgrouponline.com/topic/7194-could-books-have-been-different/#entry139094 about missing a page of a book but not really missing much of the story, I was thinking of the plot device in The Satan Bug (Alistair Maclean) in which someone's alibi, which is that they watched a certain TV programme at a certain time, is debunked by another character who points out that an electrical storm over the south of England caused a breakdown in the broadcast. And I thought, well, in these days of iPlayer and what not, that almost certainly wouldn't matter.
So what other plot devices can we come up with that have been made defunct by technology changes?
This prose-poem below will deal with: goals and goal setting, purpose and process, dealing with difficulties and seeking understanding, among other subjects.
What makes poetry, at least for me, is the simultaneity of ideas, the greater density of language. I attempt linearity and the sequential in my poetry; these are the chief features of prose. Much of my poetry is very much like prose and this is, as I say, because of the sequence and the linearity in my work. I do this partly to make it readable. I’m after simplicity and communication, not obscurity and complexity. But these goals can’t be reached all the time. I write quickly in both forms; the length of novels puts me off. I don’t have the energy and enthusiasm for fifty to one hundred thousand words with characters, story-line, etc. Also I don’t like writing dialogue, so most story forms are out of my league.
Reworking pieces of writing is also something that does not interest me, although I often rewrite a poem when posting it on the internet for some specific purpose. I write a piece and move on: poetry or prose. When I read it later on: says, weeks, months or years later the poem feels like the work of someone else. It feels fresh, new or it feels stale, or, or.....It is then that I write a new poem. This was the approach of the Irish poet, W.B. Yates. His poetry and style serve as one of my many models. I may make the occasional alteration or many alterations but, as Yeats says, he makes a new poem whatever alternation he makes. And so do I--at least that is how I see the process.
I find the approach of Marjorie Pickthall(1883-1922) to poetry relevant to my approach. The music of poetry and the supremacy of thought was more important than the "heavy mechanism of verse," as she put it. Strict adherence to form was "ruinous to the temper." One year before her death in 1922 she was "more firmly rooted than ever" in her opinion that rigid schemes of construction and melody were "fatal" to poetry in the English language (Remembrance 131-32). In the context of her poetry, these remarks suggest that Pickthall conceived of poetic thought as a pleased and pleasing, yet exact and musical, manipulation of a wide range of literary contexts.(1)
My poetic, like Pickthall’s retains traces of what Walter Pater called "speculative culture," which must perceive and disseminate a reality of "the inward world of thought and feeling" where the flame of perception burns "more eager and devouring." Her search for literary intensity gradually matured into the psychological paradox of a longing for death that was, at the same time, a desire for life. But my approach to poetry has many differences to Pickthall. She had no use for her contemporaries. Due to the internet I have access to more contemporaries than I can shake a stick at, so to speak. She took no part in the established systems of politics, sociology or religion; her chief desire was for liberation from all abstract ideas, systems and forms. I find that these fields, these disciplines, of thought, provide fertile worlds for my writing.
My poetic aims at what Baudelaire said of the prose poem in his Spleen of Paris: "Which of us......has not dreamed of the miracle of a poetic prose, musical, without rhyme and without rhythm, supple enough and rugged enough to adapt itself to the lyrical impulses of the soul, the undulations of the psyche, the prickings of consciousness."(2)-Ron Price with thanks to (1) Alex Kizuk, “THE CASE OF THE FORGOTTEN ELECTRA: PICKTHALL'S APOSTROPHES AND FEMININE POETICS,” in Studies in Canadian Poetry, Volume 12, No.1, 1987; and (2) This quotation comes from Michael Benedikt, "Introduction," The Prose Poem: An International Anthology, Dell, NY, 1976, p. 43.
A poem is like an axe or an iceberg:
it breaks-up the woodenness of life
and sometimes melts life's frozen sea-
not global warming, inner warming
and my waters flow down to the sea.1
A poem is also like an opera,
unnatural really, however much
I try to make the intensities
something for quotidian man--
still it is unnatural--to most.
A poem is an exercise
however much I try
not to pose & posture.
I find I come at a poem
like a hawk or a pigeon
in a dive and sometimes
I come up with nothing
at all, empty handed--
and I fly up and away
yet again in an endless
search of the skies.
I search to survive, to eat,
to fly unrestrained as the
wind, or on the air's still
space by oceans of air.
1 Thanks to a former student, Serene Anderson, who sent me a photo of an iceberg, including the part beneath the surface and to Franz Kafka in Poets at Work: the Paris Review Interview, editor, George Plimpton, Viking Press, 1989, p.41.
16/11/'09 to 24/7/'13.