A love triangle happens when one girl is in love with two guys at once, and can't decide between them (it could happen the opposite way, too, with one guy and two girls, but it's much less common). Both guys are in love with the girl, leaving the girl with a predicament. The girl also loves both the guys. Which should she choose? Oh the horror.
Okay, technically, it wouldn't be a love triangle unless both the guys were in love with each other, too. But we won't go there.
|There's my amazing Paint skill coming through, right there.|
This brings me to my next point. Nearly every single YA book these days has a love triangle of some sort. Why? Readers want plot. We don't want to sit there and read about some girl whining because she can't decide who to love. If she loves two guys at once, it can't even be true love, anyways. It's just some extra friendliness and a little lust.
Love triangles are also highly predictable. Have you ever seen the girl end up with the nice, normal guy? No. She always ends up with the supernatural guy. If you're going to write a paranormal romance, someone should shake it up and write a story where the girl doesn't go for the supernatural guy.
I'll be honest. I have formed a deep hatred for love triangles. And for good reason: the vast majority of them are anything but well-executed. But, to be fair, I have read some books that pulled off a fantastic love triangle.
Like Eona: The Last Dragoneye, for example. That's the most convoluted love triangle you'll ever see, my friends. Or The Hunger Games Trilogy.
Or the Seven Realms series. That one is amazing, but...you could argue that it's actually a love pentagon. Yeah. (I tried to make a diagram showing this, but failed epically.) Han is (or was) in love with Raisa, who loves him back. Raisa also loved Amon, and Amon did love her back, until he got engaged to someone else. Then there's Reid, who seems to have a thing for Raisa. Love pentagon.
So, amigos...I beg of you...don't write a love triangle, unless you've got a really interesting twist to it, or you can do it like Alison Goodman. And please don't write a love triangle for the sake of a love triangle. That's the last thing the world needs.