The most romantic book of all time that still seems to reside on everyone’s bookshelf, had a very real love triangle dead center in the middle of it. Elizabeth Bennet had more than a passing fancy for the superficially charming George Wickham. In fact, she detested Mr. Darcy for how he’d treated Wickham in the past, not knowing that the man she was standing up for was a real loser. From that point on, to me, love triangles became an integral part of the novel. Whether it’s adventure, supernatural, historical or YA, the love triangle is what stands out and keeps drawing readers into the fold; not to mention that it has become part of the ‘formula’ that most publishers look for.
It’s not a big shock that readers dream of the hero, but to have two of them after you, well…that takes it from “Happily Ever After, Cinderella” to sheer “Miracle!” The triangle isn’t just about the passion, however, it’s about how a writer can increase their characters’ likeability and charm as they delve into the conflict that their love triangle promotes.
But some do end up to be ‘seen’ by readers pretty early on. Take The Hunger Games. Katness, Peeta and Gale were beyond cool, but at the heart of it all, one does come across as the friend fairly clearly, while the other is that soulmate who the girl will never be able to get over. And even though the reader knows who will be chosen eventually, the fun is just to sit back and enjoy the ride.
The same goes for Lauren Kate’s wonderful series, Fallen. Most readers know that after all this time Daniel and Luce will find a way to be together in a lifetime that doesn’t involve her death. Cam is that heartthrob - the dark and dangerous one who a great number of readers would choose. But, again, the choice really was made early on. If Luce picked Cam now, I would assume the author would have to move out of her house and head to Neptune in order to get away from the horde of broken-hearted fans.
Yes, I know…the biggest of them all was Edward versus Jacob. But, again, there was really no hope for Jacob after Edward first stood in front of the van and saved Bella in Twilight.
I personally thought it would be interesting to mix things up a bit where the whole love triangle is concerned. I wanted fans to really have no idea who to route for when The Angel Chronicles began. Matt and Emily are already soulmates, but Jason isn’t a friend - he’s the epitome of the soulmate on earth. Writing a triangle in a series that involves the one you love suddenly becoming an enemy, and the one you rely on suddenly being the one who may or may not destroy you, was extremely intriguing. Battle lines will be drawn, of course, but some readers will fall for one, some for the other, yet Emily will have to one day choose between a soulmate and a…soulmate.
The warrior angel is a significant character because I wanted to create a defender/protector who was not ‘fallen’ or tormented; he was simply given a job to do and he wants to do it. Yes, the warrior brings that strength, courage and dreaminess of the supernatural entity to the pages, but Matt also has one of the largest hearts that can be torn to shreds by a human. After all, when you’re busy protecting others, you don’t think about protecting yourself. To be able to have a character that’s warrior, friend, as well as heartthrob is fascinating.
My biggest hope is that readers let me know who they would pick if they had but one choice and very little time.
Until Next Time, Everybody,