Monday, January 9, 2012

QotD: Your Favorite Love Triangle?

I finished with my rough outline for the second book in the Spirit Binder Series. As you may have guessed from the title, I'm going to attempt a love triangle. Well, okay, it may not be a proper triangle. It's sort of my paranormal twist on the triangle. At least, I think. Stories do have a way of taking on a life of their own. We'll see.

Anyway, I wanted to write a quick Question of the Day here: What is your favorite love triangle? Title and author in comments... go!

A lot of writers read books about writing. Generally, I have a low tolerance for "how to" books. I've always learned better by experience than by reading about it. The cool part about writing is that, um... you learn by, ah... reading. That is to say, while reference books on writing are neat and all, you can learn just as much by exposing yourself to stories, glorious stories! To some extent, you need to know what to look for, but I've found that the more I write, the more I learn, the more I notice. Which only makes sense if you think about it.

The point is just that I don't feel like I need to subject myself to boring writing books. (I'll grant you that there are good ones, and plenty that are non-boring either... it's a personal thing, promise. I've just never been a nonfiction guy.) Instead, if I'm going to write a fantasy fight scene, I go to my buddy who is a big fantasy reader and ask: What's the best fight scene you can remember, top of your head. Then, I go read that book.

So yes, my QotD here has underlying motives. I'm going to be delving into the steamy world of relationship polygons. It's not going to be as cliche as you might think, promise, but I figure learning as much as I can ahead of time doesn't hurt. I mean, you have to at least be aware of the cliches if you're going to avoid them, right?

So, off the top of your head, dear reader, do you have a favorite? Or, conversely, a least favorite? Something that, should I do it, would make you feed the book to your ravenous pet rabbit. (Seriously, public service announcement: don't leave books where rabbits can get them). Let me know. I'd love to learn. Bonus points if you have a short story. You know, for a quicker lesson.


Leigh Ann Hofferth said...

Once upon a time there was a girl named Tarin (name changed to protect privacy.) She loved one guy, Ned, but he had no time for a girlfriend. There was another guy, Jay, who liked Tarin a lot. Well, while Ned was out playing games and hanging out with the guys, Jay moved in on Tarin. One evening, while Tarin's little sister, Dee Ann, was sitting on their front porch swing, Jay comes over to take Tarin on a date. While Jay was waiting in the living room, surprise! Ned came over to visit Tarin since he hadn't seen her in a while. Needless to say, Tarin had a hard time explaining this one. Dee Ann still doesn't know how Tarin worked it all out. In the end, Tarin ended up with Ned and lived happily ever after. Jay respectfully faded off into the distance knowing that Tarin had ended up with her one true love. Could it have ended any other way? ;)

Matt said...

Well, I'm familiar with that story. But, so far as I know, this is the first time it has appeared in print. I may have to use that at some point.

Also, Tarin would say that, should this be one of my stories... Tarin would die. (She's convinced I wish her ill, and in all fairness the mother dies a lot in my books. A shrewd psychologist might point out that it represents my fear of losing my one remaining parent, which also serves as a great, reality based motivation for characters, but Tarin is stubborn.)

Leigh Ann Hofferth said...


Nadja Notariani said...

My guess is that you're wanting to write delicious tension between this triad! When it's done well, it's fantastic...and when not... er, well, disaster.
Best romance book with tension between characters...
Pride and Prejudice - Austen (a long read, but with superior tension, dialogue, and no 'patty-fingers'.
hhmmmm.... this is harder than I thought it would be.

What to do...

Make sure each of the males (or females) in the triangle have something to offer so that readers will be able to belive the tension. (Unless you're going for one of them to be deceiving the heroine...hmmm) It's no good to have one of the options just plain old un-attractive in personality...Peeee-yyuuu.

I'll be thinking on it..
Here's what I loathe (my opinion only...other readers may love this..I'm not sure??)

Woman intimately involved with two men at once. Yuck.

The flip-flop. When in doubt, wait. That's my motto.

Matt said...

Thanks for the input.

Maybe it's me, but I think in any relationship there is a point when the couple is "tested." Usually by a third wheel, and it can generally be a make or break moment for the trust in the relationship. That's the idea I want to explore.

I don't think I'll go whole-hog and set up an agonizing decision. Also, there's a little trickery planned on the part of the author that I think gives me a bit of a buffer. That is, even if I don't do a great job of selling the third wheel to the reader, there is a very good reason (we find out later) that she would appeal to the character.

We'll see how it goes, but I will tread lightly.

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