Love triangles are common in books. Especially YA books with romance (duh). Just because they’re common, lots of people argue that they’re cliché.
While I agree that they can sometimes be cliché, I don’t hate them. Here’s why:
Life is complicated.
That basically sums it up. It usually seems too simple in a story to have a boy-meets-girl, happily-ever-after. Life simply isn’t that simple. So why would you make it that straight forward in a book?
I like guessing.
Sometimes it’s kinda nice not to know who the main girl is going to end up with. Of course, that only works if the love triangle is composed of two viable options. But ya know. I still like guessing.
Sometimes love is one-way.
The issues isn’t always that a girl has two great options. Sometimes the love isn’t reciprocated by the right people. Sorry, but that’s reality. While it’s not always fun to read about, I appreciate the accuracy.
Yes, I come prepared. Since people are actually taking a whole star off of books because it dared to contain a love triangle (what???), maybe as I writer I should be smart and not throw one into everything I write 😉
Here are some other options to shake up your MC’s love life:
- make the guy have multiple love interests/girls chasing him, not the girl
- give your character a love life history, instead of having a present conflict. Bad date, ex … that sort of thing
- make the triangle worthwhile (I know, I just really love the triangle). Have the characters embody different types of love, for example. Everyone throws around that word, but look at the divorce rate.
- choose the wrong person. Then crush your character and make them move on to someone wonderful that they never saw before.
- have a triangle that’s invisible from your character’s POV. Maybe there is a triangle, but the MC doesn’t find out about it (and thus the reader doesn’t) until it’s history.
- make it straightforward and precious. Some people really do marry their elementary school sweetheart. That doesn’t mean the path there has to be free of bumps.
Obviously, those ideas aren’t all great. It really depends on how you present it, because literally anything can come of cliché and cheesy if you’re not careful about how you write it.
As long as your character’s love life has a point and is realistic, I say go for whatever fits your story 🙂
What are your thoughts on love triangles?