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Writing Believable Love Triangles

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Devouring Wolf, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Devouring Wolf

    Devouring Wolf Troubadour

    It's more of a coming of age adventure story than a romance. One of the central conflicts of the story is whether or not she's going to let herself be ruled by emotion or principle and the love triangle is a reflection of that. She has to choose between the man she knows is the "better" choice and the one she truly loves who she knows will betray her. In the end she decides she's prepared to enter a doomed relationship.
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    That is actually quite interesting. I think my cynicism is due to the all-too-common love triangles that involve affairs, and are really about lust rather than love.

    Your example, and CM's where the ex saves the husband, are examples of actual love with zero jerks.
  3. glutton

    glutton Inkling

    I don't know how helpful exactly this will be but I do have a romance and pseudo-love triangle (the MC isn't really interested in both girls) at the center of my last completed novel. The MC is a prince who is already engaged through arranged marriage to an earl's daughter who he finds boring, but falls for a foreign diplomat who challenges the champions of his nation to duels to settle disputes between their lands and kicks all their butts. So there's a double conflict for the MC in that he loves the foreign girl but is obligated to marry the fiancee who insists she loves him and they should be together, and the foreigner is also considered an 'enemy' by many of his countrymen. They wind up dueling and he runs her through with a sword, but she still beats him before saving his kingdom by pleading for mercy from her liege and then fights the main antagonist, a centuries-old dark elf sorcerer. She ends up going back to her country after deciding her career as a diplomat (and beastly champion of champions lol) is too important for her to abandon and he decides to give the arranged marriage fiancee a chance, having found out she isn't bad as he once thought. I might change it to an HEA with the foreign girl so I can label it a romance though...
  4. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Now that I think about it...

    I do have several characters in political marriages. A couple are content with this; at their social level in this society, it's the norm. Politics, not love, determines ones spouse. But...

    Tia, a central character in my 'Empire' series has a sort of 'list' of prospective candidates for her political marriage, and while she's resigned to this, she does have another romantic interest.

    Likewise, Bao, daughter of a minor provincial governor in 'Labyrinth: Seed' had her heart set on marrying Amentep, a bottom rank aristocrat. Then she was rather abruptly informed she was be married off to a minor scion of the very powerful and widely despised Maximus clan. As far as she is concerned, this marriage will make her a social outcaste.
  5. arboriad

    arboriad Scribe

    We relate to different people in different ways, and different sides of us come out in different relationships. I think that the Twilight series was a deliverable exercise in seeing how two totally different relationships could work with Bella and why people root for the two different teams.

    One relationship promised mystery sense of the exotic, and another promised warmth and courage. Both are desirable. Perhaps the key is finding out what it is about each relationship that would make it stand on its own. Like some of the other commenters have said, I also dislike it when there is passivity in the girl, and the guys are jockeying about as to her decision was a winner-take-all, as opposed to a decisive choice for a particular person.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
  6. Zara

    Zara Dreamer

    I'm sorry but to me love triangles NEVER make sense unless:
    Boy 1 like girls and she likes him. Boy 2 likes girl but she doesn't know or play with his emotions of have that 'hmm do I like him better or the other one?"
    Because when it's a 'which one do I like better?" I always feel she can't be serous about either because if she was she wouldn't need to ask herself. She'd just know.

    I don't like love triangles. It's always obvious who she'll end up with so why have the second guy?
  7. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

    I'm a sucker for love triangles. Hunger Games? Loved it. It was the triangle that made the story for me. Gale is so fierce and strong, Peeta is so kind and funny... I love them both! I'm watching The Office again on Netflix... Because of Jim and Pam. I think love triangles can be done well, and I think a certain audience loves them. I'm considering one in my wip, though very minor as my characters are only 13... So likely a first kiss is about all it will amount to. However, I know my readers (13 year old girls) would appreciate a little romance, so I will put it in for them.

    Zara, love is never cut and dry like that, unfortunately. I've been in a few love triangles in my life. It does happen. And even years later, when the honeymoon stage is over, you can second guess the decision.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
    arboriad likes this.

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