Friday, November 25, 2011

Love Triangles

One thing I keep seeing over and over again in young adult fiction is the love triangle.  The dreaded, the abominable, the ubiquitous...love triangle. 

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. 
There's a problem with this, though...have you ever seen a love triangle in real life?  No.  At least, I haven't.  Let's face it: love triangles just don't happen that much in real life.  So why should every YA book have one?

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.

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6 comments:

  1. I've actually seen love triangles but they're not like the diagram suggests. The diagram is lol though!

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  2. I LOVED Eona and the love triangle in that was very good. Some could say it wasn't exactly a love triangle since her relationship to the other dragoneye was based off of more lust and power than love, but I think it is one.

    Anyways, I like your diagram, very nice. Paint is surprisingly hard to draw with I think. I think it should be easier.

    I hate love triangles too. They annoy me so much! Sometimes they can be good but most of them aren't. I don't write love triangles, my characters only really ever fall in love with one guy. Except for one, but she has her reasons. Actually...no...two characters. The one mentioned before and a guy. But the guy's love triangle is complicated.

    I wrote my own post about this subject a while back. Most of it agrees with what you said. And the whole thing about the girl falling in love the guy who's supernatural is so true and/or if he's the bad guy.

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  3. @Kamille Elahi: Yeah, the diagram was actually more for my own amusement than anything else. I just made it randomly and liked it, so I posted it.

    @Sareh: EONA!!! Ahem. Anyways...

    Paint is difficult, especially for artistically challenged people. Like me. But I still might be including more Paint diagrams and such in future posts. Just because I can.

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  4. Awesome diagram Annie! You're paint skills are awesomesauce. ;) Hmm, well I have seen love triangles in real life but it's slightly different. Usually the girl is already dating a guy and then she finds that she's falling for someone else who also likes her back.

    I have read stories where the girl doesn't choose the supernatural hot guy. i.e the "Wicked Lovely series". But you're right, that does usually end up happening. I'm starting just to steer clear of books with love-triangles all together because they're so obvious and overdone. But sometimes in cases like the Vampire Academy series I actually liked the love triangle because it worked so well with the storyline. In VA both guys were supernatural, rather than just one. And it was pretty clear from the start who the MC liked more. So there wasn't any "Omygosh, I love them both. Who should I chose?"

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  5. @Annie: It was such a great book, I wanted to vote for it in the Goodreads book award thing but I didn't realize you could type in the book and vote for it. :/

    Anyways, I can be good at paint some times. I did a pretty simple but good layout of the Temple for The Cursing. It isn't all that fancy, mostly shapes and colors, but it works.

    @Ezmirelda: I really liked the Wicked Lovely series. I liked the end and how the characters all ended up with the people they liked. It was a nice ending.

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  6. @Ezmirelda: Awesomesauce, you say? Well, thank you! Eh, I read the first Wicked Lovely, and wasn't too impressed. Not sure if I'll read the rest of them.

    @Sareh: I did type it in. For every category that it fit into. :) It didn't win, though. *sob*

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