I know this is cliche but I needed a love triangle to develop my plot. I've already decided who ends up with who but I don't know how to make the triangle itself more interesting until the twist at the end. Any tips?
Hi! Here’s some advice I found on writing love triangles in general:
Love triangles are risky ground. They’ve been done a lot, and sometimes just seem really unnecessary. Take The Hunger Games for example. Potential spoiler Honestly, the love triangle between Gale, Katniss, and Peeta wasn’t even well written. We all knew who Katniss would end up with, and there was that totally “tie up the loose ends” kind of thing going on with how Gale’s story ended. I would’ve liked it much better if Gale had simply remained a close friend of Katniss. Spoilers over My point in bringing this up is that I want you to ask yourself “Do I really need a love triangle?”.
I feel like a lot of books these days (or at least YA ones) are lacking in the friendship department. There’s so much focus on romance that friendships are kicked to the curb. Does it have to be the traditional love triangle, or can one of the characters just be really close friends with the MC? What if they’re both people who love the MC platonically but have different views on what’s best for the MC?
Okay, so if this hasn’t stopped the love triangle train*, then here’s some things you can do to make it less cliche/ more interesting/ just be better in general:
1. Avoid the typical two guys going after one girl. Really, anything other than that would make it less cliche.
2. Don’t have the MC end up with #2 or #3 of the triangle. Maybe #2 and #3 fall in love, or everyone realizes they’re better off alone.
3. Don’t make who the MC ends up with obvious (if you go that route). This is a given.
4. Develop the MC’s relationship with #2 and #3 equally.
5. Please don’t make one the “dark and broody, but also an arrogant jerk” stereotype. It makes you hate the MC for even considering this person.
5 ½. No bad boy vs boy next door/ best friend. I’m begging you.
6. Make your readers question who they would prefer out of #2 and #3 without making them have identical personalities.
7. Have #2 and #3 both make mistakes and screw up.
8. Instead of #2 and #3 constantly protecting/saving the MC, have the MC help them.
9. Have #2 and #3 become friends instead of entertaining jealously and bitterness between each other. This is interesting because while they both want the MC, they don’t want to hurt each other either.
10. If either other 2/3 of the love triangle is possesive/controlling of the MC, I instantly hate them.
11. Insta love is a huge no no.
12. I’ve been treating the MC as the one being persued by #2 and #3, but what if you told the story from the POV of #2 or #3? That’s a rare take on love triangles.
13. #2 and #3 should have their own lives and struggles outside of their relationship with the MC.
*It may sound like I hate love triangles, but I don’t. I just think they’re really hard to pull off and energy focused on them could be spent on better parts of a story.
I answered a recent ask about a love story and included some information about romantic subplots that I think could be helpful to you. If you look up “romantic subplot” into my blog’s search engine, it should be the only post.
I hope that helped :)