Love Triangle

May 27, 2010 at 6:05 am (fantasy, Work In Progress) (, , , , , , , , , )

I wasn’t supposed to have a love triangle in my current WIP. I’ve gone back through all my ideas and plans and nowhere in it does it suggest that character B likes the protagonist. Yet while I’ve been writing, certain things have been developing.

Character A and the protagonist are getting along swimmingly and things are right on schedule for them but Character B is just so rugged and wild and tempting that I’ve definitely been seeing some sparkage between him and the protagonist. The question becomes do I figure out what this means for the story, develop the relationship properly and then have a full love triangle, or do I try to steer the story back to its original course? Given that the original romance was really just a side plot to a quest story with a little bit of horror thrown in for fun.

It is a question I’ll have to answer soon because otherwise I’ll be too far along one path to easily change without a lot of rewrites and I try not to rewrite until after I’ve finished the first draft. Otherwise I just keep rewriting and the draft never finishes.

So – advantages of going with the love triangle scenario:

1. It is going to add tension between the characters and it will help flesh out character B’s role which in the original plan was clearly not well defined.

2.  It will help slow down Character A and protagonists relationship which is going a bit too well at the moment.

3.  It makes sense. It wouldn’t make sense for the protagonist to utterly ignore the fact that there are sparks between her and Character B, even if she only acknowledges it long enough to end it.

4.  It will be easier to edit out a subplot that doesn’t work later than it will be to add it in after the fact.


1. I don’t like love triangles. I find them a little cliché.

You’re opinion? Are you for or against love triangles? Have you ever created one in a story?



  1. Alex Willging said,

    I’m not a huge fan of love triangles myself, although if a romance is done really, really well, then I suppose they can’t hurt.

    I’d recommend a look at this great page from TV Tropes:

  2. T. H. Mafi said,

    haha go for it! if your story is pushing for it, then let it develop naturally — you never know where it might go 😀

    have fun!

    and best of luck with everything 😀

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      I think that’s what I’m going to end up doing. Just let it happen and maybe hack it out afterwards if it gets distracting, dull, or otherwise annoys me.

  3. Corra McFeydon said,

    I love a love triangle. 🙂

    There’s a great deal in fiction that has the potential to be cliche. If you can write a love triangle creatively, then you’re original.

    – Corra

    from the desk of a historical writer

  4. Carol Kilgore said,

    I have a triangle in my wip. It gets nipped about the halfway point. But the guy was so engaging, it had to happen. Both the attraction and the nipping.

  5. AlexJ said,

    I’m trying to work out a relationship with just two people! Three would throw me for a loop.
    But if it’s happening naturally in your story, why not let it ride?

  6. Lynn Rush said,

    I like them cuz they add lots of tension. But yeah, I can see how they cliche pretty easily. But hey, what’s nice about being a writer. . . the delete button. If we find out something’s not working we can yank it out. 🙂

    Great post.

  7. Miss Rosemary said,

    I say just let the characters take you where they will. It’s funny but my current WIP is developing a love triangle that I initially didn’t want either which is going to change the entire shape of the novel … but not it seems to be working. I’m just going to see what the characters want me to write for them and take it from there. Don’t fight something that could make the story really good just because of a prejudice against the scenario.

    P.S. I’m adding you to my blogroll, I really like your site.

  8. infernalmemo said,

    Hmm. Well, we all love love, right? And we love temptation and all the bad stuff that comes with it, so…I say ride the wave and see where it takes you. You know as well as I do that those characters have minds of their own. They’re telling you something.

  9. vividumas said,

    I think if they are done well it adds another layer of interest to the relationship. Sometimes you have to go where the story leads.

  10. Brown Eyed Mystic said,

    I think go with the flow. If there’s chemistry and spark, it will burst forth. Maybe you can clear out one lover sooner than it turns into long-lasting love triangle. That way, it is back to juicy couple romance–clean.

    Great post, btw!


    • Cassandra Jade said,

      The problem I think is that character B was only supposed to be a bit player but he is kind of sweeping in and stealing the scene. I either need to give him the bigger role he is clearly asking for or reconstruct his chracter. I wonder where this will lead? Certainly not where I intended.

  11. Lua said,

    A love triangle can add tension to the story and that’s always fun to read 🙂 besides if written well, I don’t think it will turn out to be a cliché, it can give your story more depth… I say, write both scenarios and see which one works best? This was you won’t wonder what would have happened if there was a love triangle.

  12. Tooty Nolan said,

    Love triangles happen. see where it takes the plot.

  13. averyoslo said,

    I don’t think they are cliche at all. Yes, a lot of cliche has been done with them, but they are like breakfast, or rain– they are in everyone’s life at one point or another, and they can be made interesting with the right writers.

    But maybe I’m just so adamant because I’ve got one in mine. With twins! See, my cliche can beat up your cliche!

    • Cassandra Jade said,

      Ah – we’re black dogging are we?

      I think you’re right. It is only cliche if you let it be. I just really didn’t plan on my story going down that road.

  14. Ann Elise said,

    I’ve never written a love triangle, as far as I can remember anyway, but I love them when they’re done well. I say go for it 🙂

  15. jannatwrites said,

    Your writing is unique, so I think you can do something different with your love triangle. If not, there’s always the delete button (as others have already pointed out). Good luck!

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