Sunday, August 7, 2011

Writing Tips- Stories With a Love Triangle.

Note: Sorry about the past couple of weeks with messed up posting on Saturdays. We're taking care of it this week. And I'm posting this Saturday tip on today because I saw that no writing tip was posted yesterday. Jessika if you see this, post your post today anyways. Thanks everyone!

In this post I''m going to talk about something that Im sure all of us have noticed by now: love triangles. And for those of us who have noticed them, I'm sure it is driving us nuts because there is just so many in books these days. Especially YA books.

I could list many books with love triangles (Twilight saga, Prophecy of the Sisters series, The Summoning books, The Iron Fey [maybe, we all know Meghan loves Ash but Puck is still in love with her anyways], The Hunger Games, The Infernal Devices series, Eona: The Last Dragoneye, Matched, etc).

Now while I'll say that writers love to use love triangles because for a couple reasons, 1) it adds to the story because while there may be something bigger going on we know that in most cases the MC will have to end up with one of the characters and 2) the writers might have their own reasons. And if you're going to add a love triangle to your story, I dearly hope that it's not just because you think there needs to be something more exciting.

And if there has to be a love triangle in the story I think there has to be a certain way to pull it off (at least in my point of view) I think that no matter who the MC or whoever ends up with whoever, that you cannot just randomly kill off a character or make them disappear so that the girl/boy ends up with the one you liked most or even the one they're suppose to be with. (I.e What happened to Gale in the Hunger Games?)

Plus then there's the thought, if you're trying to display a character realistically, how many of us actually have been or are in a love triangle? Not many girls I know have been loved or whatever by two different guys. Okay well one of my cousins once kinda was but it was complicated.

If you're going to have a girl be loved by two guys (or a guy loved by two girls) remember that you can't throw in some perfect, gary-sue character to be a love interest because we'll know. Make sure that both love interests actually have something to do with the plot. And make sure there's a reason the girl may be in love with both, and not just because one of them is super hot and the other is the sweetest guy ever.

Meeting random guys/girls and almost instantly falling in love with them is bogus, at least I don't like it at all. Like in Guardian of the Gate, Lia just seems to randomly fall in love with Dimitri even though they just met. And "I feel like I've known you forever" is not a good excuse unless there's a really good reason and not "I've been watching you or guarding you secretly". That's just borderline creepy and stalker-ish. 

But meeting a guy (or another guy/girl) and having them learn about the character first and then having them say that they may or may not be in love with them is a way to do it. And if you have to have two guys/girls in the story, they don't always have to be in love with the same person. One can be a friend, brother, sibling, or in love with another person. 

So let's sum this all up, shall we? 
  • Don't add a love triangle to your story just because you think there needs to be something else to make it interesting. 
  • If you have a love triangle, don't randomly kill off one of the love interests so the MC or whoever ends with the the one you want. 
  • Make sure each love interest actually has something to do with the story.
  • Don't embody one of them as your version of the perfect man; save those for your daydreams and not your books. 
  • Try to change it up; try not to have one of them be the bad guy and the other the good guy. 
  • Don't have an instant "love". If you can, gradually have the character fall in love with them or have a good reason for the character to love them when we meet the love interests. 
  • You don't always have to have a love triangle if there's two leading guys/girls and the MC. One can be friends or be in love with another while the other guy/girl is in love with the MC or whoever. 
  • If you're going for realistic or somewhat believable, remember how many people actually have ever been in a love triangle. 
  • Also, not that I've seen this done, but try to not have more than two love interests. Then it tends to get confusing and messy. Just saying.
So, do you hate it when there's a love triangle or do you not mind them? Is there a reason why you do or do not like them? What's the best love triangle you've ever seen and the worst? Did a MC or character ever end up with the person you didn't think they should have? Why or why not?  



  1. Yes! You have said something that really needed to be said. I'm just plain getting sick of love triangles. I don't like them because, frankly, most of them are the same. The girl is in love with two seemingly perfect guys and she's so worthless a character that she can't decide. The most fantastic love triangle I've seen is definitely the one between Eona, Lord Ido, and Kygo in Eona. It was so royally messed-up, but it all felt so real. The triangle in The Exiled Queen was also pretty good, but we don't know who she ends up with yet.

    And I agree with you about Gale. He just kinda disappeared at the end, making Katniss's choice way too easy.

  2. Hey I can't post today cause we are going put of town!

  3. Jessika: That's fine, I can do something today. Have fun!

    Annie: Thank you! I'm getting just plain tired of love triangles too. It'd be better if they were different but most of them are all the same. And it's just plain boring. Oh yes, the one in Eona was good. As messed up as it was, I could see it happening. I've never read The Exiled Queen but it sounds good.

    See, someone agrees with me! He just disappeared! True, and I never really did like Peeta, I understand what he did and why, but I still didn't like him all that much.

  4. Actually I feel like Love Triangles are not as rare as you say... I mean you said that not many of the girls you know has been loved by to guys at the same time, but let me tell you something: I was! And I am only 18 and have been the loved one in 4 different love triangles. And I'll name them for you:
    1. classic: The best friend vs the popular guy.
    2. Not so classic: Two popular guys that where best friends and both liked me. Witch was a very interesting situation.
    3. Another Classic: Bad boy vs Nice guy
    4. A very intelligent guy who won like every science fair for 4 years vs An popular and jealous guy who loved singing as much as he loved me. (And he was very possessive.)

    And I also was involved in one where the loved one was a guy and me and another girl both liked him a lot and he was kind of very confused and it happened at the same time with another love triangle with two other guys that liked me... and really it was all a mess. Jealousy scenes flying everywhere around our high school.

    All that and I'm not even that pretty! Plus I'm chubby. The cool thing is that I know why each of those guys liked me ;) So I know where my charm lies, a nice weapon in my arsenal! xD

    Aside from that I totally agree with every single thing you said! It's so frustrating when they simply kill the guy or make him disappear! I mean choosing can be really hard, I know, but it's that's interesting if anything the guys must make the choosing harder and not easier, and that goes for the writer too.

    Man... what a long comment. Sorry for my rant. It was a very interesting article, just tough I may share my personal experience, maybe someone could use it as inspiration.


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