Writing Love Triangles Well

Love triangles are often associated with romantic fiction, but are also common in other genres like young adult, fantasy, or speculative fiction. A love triangle usually involves a female protagonist being pulled between two male love interests, but can be gender-inverted or use LGBTQ examples.

This trope is popular among many readers, but just as many claim to hate love triangles. Detractors say the trope is overused, with players often too attractive or otherwise perfect to be believed, and surrounding situations that are contrived if not outright cliche.

Using some of your favorite–and perhaps least favorite–examples of love triangles, discuss what sets some apart from others. What does it take to write a love triangle well? What are some common mistakes authors make when writing this trope? Why and how can a badly written love triangle still have legions of fans? Has the trope evolved in any significant way, and if so, what new versions and expectations should authors be aware of?

  • I'd also potentially really look at how this is done in LGBTQ+ works, and consider examining what makes that structure different from other written love triangles, if there is any difference at all. – SiothrĂșn 3 months ago
  • In addition to the exploration of LGBTQ love triangles, another interesting angle would include polyamorous relationships that develop through this trope. In literature, YA novel "Iron Widow" by Xiran Jay Zhao could be examined as an example. – Emma 2 months ago

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