Baneset Jones' Diary
We Three: Love Triangles
On the ‘terrible writing advice’ youtube channel, one of the running jokes is the over-reliance and overemphasis on love triangles in bad fiction.
Are they automatically bad, though?
They can be. If a character's main problem, regardless of genre, is having to choose between two highly desirable, amazing partners who are madly in love with them, a lot of readers will tune out. This problem is
exacerbated if the main character is described or shown to be dull, boring and bland…and able to attract all this romantic attention by doing nothing.
Having said that…
People like this stuff. I'm not studying genres and sales figures, but there are certain things that are written because they can be very popular! Like I said, some readers will tune out, but others will be all over it like…well, like a lovelorn member of a love triangle!
When one person loves another, and that person loves a third person - well, you've got conflict right there! And if the reader cares about at least one of the people, or two, or all three…well that's what you want! That's probably a better triangle than the “choosing between two amazing lovers” version.
Personally I don't have a problem with it as a trope. It can be done badly, or it can be done well - and to me it can be a handy device to create tension that is very relatable!
The endless tension in the Archie/Betty/Veronica triangle has kept that series alive for many decades. The various triangles in Marvel Comics, too, have helped give humanity to various characters. The early one was Reed Richards, Sue Storm and Namor, then later there was Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Wolverine.
And many, many others!
I've played with the trope a bit in my comic, here and there. It's fun!
So what do you think? Dead trope? Lame trope? Or something that can give a little juice to your genre story?
Any particular triangles you've enjoyed? Hated?
Have a good one, wishing you all the best as always!
Banes at 12:00AM, April 16, 2020
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