• West Cork Literary Festival 8-15 July 2022

Writing a Love Triangle: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan

Writing.ie | Resources | Essential Guides | Links for Writers
Lucy O'Callaghan

Lucy O’Callaghan

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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.

  1. https://www.savannahgilbo.com/blog/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.

  1. https://storygrid.com/love-triangles/

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.

  1. https://www.standoutbooks.com/love-triangles/

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.

  1. https://www.abbiee.com/2019/02/writing-love-triangles/

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.

  1. https://www.wonderforest.net/blog-feed/how-to-write-love-triangles-the-right-way

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?

  1. https://goteenwriters.com/2014/04/11/10-ways-to-deal-with-the-love-triangle-in-your-book/

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

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, she is currently editing and polishing her debut novel.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

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