Love triangle is probably the age old formula to bring about a conflict instantly. This post is all about how to steer clear of love triangles. Romance and love is a genre which is not my strong point. Before I wrote the outline of my first published short story, I went about researching as to how to write a romance tale. I wanted to experiment. So here is what I picked up before writing a romance.
So the typical formula for a love triangle is this – A sweet, beautiful girl falls in love with two great guys at the same time. They guys are more or less of the same type with one major difference distinguishing them. The second guy, more often than not, turns out to be the safer and practical choice. This character is always either the best friend or neighbor or brother’s friend. The heroine ends up wrecking her mind and then finally picks the second guy, ditching the first one.
Isn’t that one predictable line? So, here are few pointers which I took from the same MIT eDX course work I had mentioned earlier.
- The female character never falls in love with both the male characters from the same time. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is the best example of this. Elizabeth Bennett has a crush on Wickham for a while. After she learns his true character her feelings subside, and it is only then that her heart begins to turn towards Darcy.
- At the hindsight, not both men are good options initially. It’s just a matter of whom the character loves more. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series would be the best example of it. One is a vampire, other is a werewolf. Both the characters have enough flaws associated with their supernatural state. The choice was not about who was a better choice. It was about whom she liked more.
- The heroine ought to be decisive and should have the conviction about her choices. It’s maddening when the female characters goes back and forth between her choices and can’t really make up her mind. Again Bella from twilight would be the best example. This exactly why a lot of people(me included) don’t like the series.
One thing I understood was this – If the story still looked after removing the love triangle, then the love triangle is not worth it and needs re-thinking. Playing with insecurities and emotions can probably make the love triangle better.
I’ve not read enough romances to analyze and comment on this particular type of plotline. Even the Jane Austen reference was from the movie version. That book is next on my TBR!
Do read and share your thoughts!