A love triangle story plot has everything needed for an engrossing story. There are characters, conflict, and resolution; the three things that will hook your readers in. However, love triangles can very easily become predictable and cliched. I have put together some articles, podcasts, and YouTube videos that share some great tips and advice to take on board when writing love triangles.
Love triangles are wonderful plot devices and can have beautiful, moving results when done effectively. Savannah shares some famous love triangles from well-known literature and gives the writer ten tips to consider when writing a love triangle. These include making both suitors a viable choice for the protagonist, fully developing all three characters involved, and establishing what’s at stake with either outcome. She also tells us that it is important not to neglect the rest of your story for the sake of your love triangle.
Story Grid tells us that while fans of the romance genre appreciate well-written love triangles, it is important to avoid being labelled as ‘predictable’ or ‘cliched’. This article shares tips such as you don’t have to start both relationships at the same time, exploring the different types of conflict within the love triangle, and knowing where your love triangle fits in with your story. Each love triangle will carry a certain weight to the story, and there has to be a reason for including it in your novel.
Readers love conflict and resolution and love triangles provide the perfect frame for these. Love triangles are timeless and fit into most genres. This article advises the writer to focus on the conflict, believability, resolution, unpredictability, novelty and depth, as these are the building blocks for any great love triangle.
The reason why most love triangles are annoying and boring is because they don’t dig into the character’s internal conflict. Don’t make your love triangle simple; challenge your characters, make them confront their fears and upend their entire lives. Abbie says that you should make your love triangle a catch 22 for your protagonist. It should go all the way to your protagonist’s deepest fear, which consequently is most likely what got them into this love triangle situation in the first place. The love triangle should bring to light the real conflict that’s been boiling below the surface for a long time.
Wonder Forest tells the writer not to make your love triangle simple, allow it to bring out the internal conflict. Ask yourself 5 questions including what is the protagonist’s inner conflict and how did it lead them into this love triangle, how high are the stakes and how hot is the fire beneath the protagonist’s feet to make a decision, and how does this love triangle cause all 3 characters to face their fears?
This article gives you some ideas to do something different with your love triangle. Shooting someone, having the liar lose, someone giving up, or the hero picking neither are all suggested.
Love triangles are one of the most common tropes across all genres. They are often central to many YA and romance books but are also found in subplots of fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, and action novels. This podcast talks about how to use a love triangle effectively and leave your reader satisfied with the resolution.
In this video from Writer’s Block, they discuss different types of love triangles: the equilateral, the decoy, imaginary love triangle, real love triangle, and the two-person love triangle.
Phoebe talks you through 4 tips for writing an interesting and compelling love triangle.
Love triangles are great plot devices and by using these tips and advice you have the opportunity to create a compelling, swoon-worthy love triangle that readers will adore. I hope this week’s column has been useful for you. If you have any topics you would like me to cover then please get in touch.
(c) Lucy O’Callaghan