Thursday Thoughts: Love Triangles

The latest prompt from Ok, Let’s Read is on… love triangles!

October 16: Love Triangles – Are you an out and proud hater of love triangles? Or, do they not bother you all that much? Do you feel like love triangles are overdone and have a tendency to be similar? What is it that you like or dislike about love triangles in books? Do you think that one genre or section of books overdoes the love triangle thing more than others? Do you think love triangles can be okay if done correctly?

I’m not really a hater of love triangles, as long as they feel authentic. You have to genuinely feel that the character in the middle could have feelings for both his/her paramours, and that they could have feelings for him/her. It has to be handled like they’re all people, not brainwashed adoring harems. It has to feel like more than a plot device — something necessary to the characters, as grounded in who they are and where they’ve been as their love or hate or indifference toward their parents.

Obviously, the genre everyone talks about for love triangles is YA, with The Hunger Games and its imitators. But it’s been a staple for hundreds of years — hello, Arthuriana. Although, I love Arthurian stories, but not many have ever really made me believe the love between Lancelot (or Bedwyr, the other common choice) and Guinevere and the love between Arthur and Guinevere, at the same time. Rare is the writer who can make me feel like there is no other way for it to happen. Guy Gavriel Kay somewhat manages, and John Steinbeck definitely succeeds.

All in all, I guess I’m pretty ambivalent? It just has to make sense.

8 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: Love Triangles

  1. Yes, you have to believe in the characters as people, otherwise the love triangle just comes across as a plit device. What’s interesting is when it happens in real life, as it did with William Morris, his wife Jane and Rossetti — all the more fascinating as all three would have been well aware of the Arthurian parallels.

  2. I’m against plot devices for devices’ sake, no matter how well they trend or whatnot. If it fits and feels organic to the fic, I’m cool with it. True, I’d like more randomness in the results of love triangles, but *shrugs* can’t have everything I guess.

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