Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why Authors Write Love Triangles

Every body knows that one of an authors main goals ( besides getting published and uber rich- uh, i mean, enjoying what they do...duh) is to be different. We want to avoid cliche's ( or apparently only certain ones, since vamps and werewolves are still going strong), so that our novel isn't known as the book that was like this one, which was like that one, which is very similar to this one over here.
So why do people keep writing love triangles?

Because they're a good idea. If you do it right( i suggest my fine, albeit lengthy, post below which tells you how to do exactly that).
So, here's what they accomplish:

1. DRAMA. We don't like it when things are easy, especially people's love life. We like to see misunderstandings and inner conflict ( of course, only if its resolved later on)

2. Character Development. It gives a chance for your character to grow through self discovery and a lot of deep thought and decision making.

3. Contrast ( look at the scalene love triangles below)

4. Creates a need for people to still read our books! Not gonna lie, there's this a couple series that I would have stopped reading by now if it wasn't for me wanting to know who the girl chooses in the end. If you make a good love triangle, people will get in debates about whose better ( ever heard of Team Edward or Team Jacob? ... Yeah, neither have I), and readers will give alot of thought to who they like better and why( ... or atleast I will...). So basically, if done right, it increases readers interest ( or obsession) with the books, which comes in handy when your writing a series.

So, yes, this article was almost completely redundant of my last one, but I still decided to write it to show that sure, I sometimes get annoyed with all the love triangles out there, but from a literary standpoint, its a smart move. And because I forgot to mention that fourth point in the last post, and I didn't want to make it any longer.

So, what about you? Do you like the drama, etc. that love triangles create, or are you sick of it and just want a decent straightforward romance? Comment on it below!


  1. To me, things like werewolves and vampires are topics, whereas love is a theme. Topics get old, and come in and out of fashion. Falling in love is part of the human experience.

    Themes like love, freedom, truth, courage, pain and suffering, and family and friendship really aren't going to get overused as long as people are still alive.

    As far as triangles? Men fight over women. Women fight over men (boy howdy do they.) You have to have at least one to be the prize and two to compete for it. It naturally lends itself to a love triangle at the least, and most authors don't want to tackle a love octagon with footnotes--even if it's more true to real life.

  2. hmm... good point. I always wondered what it was about love triangles that even though we use them over and over, we don't get sick of them, but i think you just said it! its because its an experience, not a topic, and it definitely happens in real life. thanks for sharing!