1. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
    Offline

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Music Room #3

    Can a love triangle *add* to the story?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Duchess-Yukine-Suoh, Dec 11, 2015.

    I've never liked love triangles. The first and foremost reason, isn't the needless drama, but rather the fact that you know who the character is going to pick, so it seems kind of pointless. The second reason is the needless drama that takes away from what could have been a great story. However, I've never not read a story because it has a love triangle, and sometimes I find that it doesn't really detract from the story.

    But, the question here is, have you ever read a love triangle that you liked? If not, what would it take for you to enjoy a love triangle?
     
  2. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,702
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    The only love triangle I can think of that I enjoyed was in Disney's Frozen, where the romantic love story was entirely secondary to the family love story and the dangerous-uncontrollable-superpower story.

    And where the romantic plot led directly to one of the greatest secret-villain reveals that I have ever seen in my life :eek:

    ... Yeah, I don't tend to be a fan in general of romantic plot-lines either. Plot-lines with characters who happen to be romantic, sure, but I don't tend to be interested in the romance itself as a source of dramatic tension.
     
    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh and AASmith like this.
  3. 123456789
    Online

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,336
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    What about Pearl Harbor?
     
  4. AASmith
    Offline

    AASmith Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    119
    I never really liked them. Even in soap operas they are annoying especially when they dominate the story. I think you have to be careful because they can make your character unlikable. I don't think love triangles add to stories, i think they can BE the story or you can certainly have one in the story, however i can't think of a story where the love triangle made it better.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  5. xanadu
    Offline

    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    407
    Location:
    Cave of Ice
    Can't say I'm a fan. I don't write them, though in my novels the romance aspect is always a side plot, anyway.

    @AASmith has a good point, too, in that you can risk making your character unlikable. Indecision is okay for a bit, but ultimately I want my protagonists to do things. Make a decision, act on it, fail, try again, and so on. Wavering for the sake of contrived drama...meh.

    Of course, anything can be done well. I'm sure that's also true of love triangles. But I won't bother to try because I'm just not interested in them enough.
     
  6. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,821
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Wuthering Heights, Little Women, Doctor Zhivago. I have to admit though Little Women got on my nerves. I was really pulling for Jo and Laurie to wind up together.
    Love triangles are tough. Either the writer goes with what the reader wants a happy ending, or tortures the reader by going the tragedy route, or branches off into a more 'reality' route. ( I tentatively use that term reality because I don't think it was more real to have Jo not marry Laurie - I think it just showed that their lives had developed in different paths leading to an acceptable change of romance. )

    I'm not entirely crazy about triangles anymore. For one thing they're overdone. For another thing in the old days I could see two men/boys waiting for a girl to choose between them. Especially if the young woman had something of value - beauty, position, health. But with such an abundance of pretty girls, nowadays, I find it a stretch to believe that two guys would wait around for some girl to choose between them. I buy two girls fighting over a boy much easier.
    But your reader is probably predominantly female so they probably love the 2 boy 1 girl ratio more.

    One thing I'd love to see in a love triangle - the girls pick backfires. I've seen a lot where the girl picks 'the bad boy' but since the bad boys of fiction bare little resemblance to bad boys in reality I'd make it more real. The boy isn't loyal, ditches the girl and she finds herself alone realizing 'romance' isn't everything.
     
    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh likes this.
  7. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    It's a great medium for conflict, that's the point. If it's not a conflict you want to write about, then you shouldn't throw it in just to gin up the story. But classic triangles are very common in popular and successful literature.

    In Gone With the Wind it was a key element in the story.

    It played a smaller role in Hunger Games, sort of a side story.
    And one would have thought the initially established relationship between Gale and Katniss would have won out. But in the book it was clear she was more concerned with survival and caring for her sister than with a love interest. That Katniss ended up with Peeta wasn't as predictable.

    On the other hand, going with just popular: It was the main conflict in Twilight and it symbolized a much larger conflict between cultures (if you think Twilight was that deep anyway :p). But there was never much question who Bella would end up with. The conflict was more between Edward and Jacob, not within Bella, choosing between the two like it was with Scarlet in Gone with the Wind.
     
  8. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,821
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Oh, I forgot Gone With the Wind. One triangle I liked and believed - mainly because it was Scarlet having to learn Ashley wasn't what she tricked herself into believing he was.
     
  9. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
    Offline

    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    743
    Location:
    Music Room #3
    I like how you put Frozen in spoiler tags. :D And I agree!
    @GingerCoffee, and @peachalulu, I forgot about Gone with the Wind! That was definetly the best (and most realistic) love triangle I've seen.

    Thanks to everyone who responded! :)

    Now, the most disappointing love triangle I've read was in the "Summer" series by Jenny Han, mostly because the main character has little interaction with the dude she ends up with, and I feel it should have focused more on friendship and growing up with the guys.
     
  10. AASmith
    Offline

    AASmith Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    119
    One thing I do enjoy sort of is the way Mad Men was able to make Don's character likable (at least in the beginning, just started watching and on episode 4 now) yet made him a cheating asshole at the same time. I think affairs are interesting sometimes. In Mad Mens case it was more of a sign of the times and showing what women were valued for.
     
  11. LinnyV
    Offline

    LinnyV Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    991
    Definitely not a fan of love triangles, it always comes across as unnecessary angst and nor am I fond of a MC that might comes across as fickle. However, I do like it when an author can create a sense of romantic competition but not a triangle. It keeps things interesting to know that the people involved have to work for it and that there is a potential threat to keep them on their toes. ;-)
     
    GingerCoffee and xanadu like this.

Share This Page