Friday, September 24, 2010

The Love Triangle

Little Monster:  Mommy, you know, I have two boyfriends.
Me: Really?  Who?
Little Monster: (highly exaggerated sigh) uuggghhhh, Bobby and Tommy*, duh
Me: Oh yeah?
Little Monster: They are totally my boyfriends, dude. 

(This conversation was literally, like yesterday in the car on the way home from school.  She's 5, for the record)

*names have been changed to protect what little masculenity these poor boys have left after doing my daughter's bidding all day

Ah, the love triangle.

"Dude, what's that smell?"

Love it or hate it?

I for one, am not a big fan of love triangles in books.  I think they've always just annoyed me.  I don't know, I kind of want to focus on just one love interest, and have the conflict be about the journey they face together, or the story around them.  It is almost borderline soap-operaish and those things annoy me to no end.  But some love triangles are written very well, and I'm okay with them.  It really just depends.  Plus TONS of people like love triangles in their books.

My first novel is a fantasy with a romance between two people weaved into it.  It's not a romance with a little fantasy on the side.  (which, those are totally fine- I like those sometimes, when I'm looking for a good, steamy book).  But mainly, the story focuses on the journey ahead of my characters, and the romance kinda just blossoms around it. 


I have a second book that I will write while I query this one.  Completely different than this one.  Still a fantasy (with DRAGONS- squeee!), but get ready for this....

It has a love triangle.  *facepalm*

I know, I just totally ranted about how I don't like them.  But then I was thinking of this idea that would be totally cool.  And my main character would have a best friend that she grew up with that she always thought she'd be with.  But then this other guy comes up and, well, without giving too much away, they are basically THROWN together by destiny.  So then the struggle is, she always thought she'd be with her best friend, but now this other guy is here, but she's mad that she basically has no choice on the matter and HAS to be with him, so she sets out on this journey that totally questions who she is and she has to decide if she wants to break all the rules, give up her true self and be with her best friend, or give in to destiny and be with this guy (that she might be kind of crushing on since they made this journey together).

Anyway.  So.  Slap me in the face and go, "Abby, if you hate love triangles don't write one!"  I KNOW, but the thing kinda has to be that way.  Thats what happens to writers.  We get an idea, and we really don't have any control over it.   It has a mind of it's own, and you best be writing that now.

It's like in my first book.  I have an ensemble cast, with four characters I would consider pretty significant.  Two are the love interests and from their POV, so I would say they are the Main-Main characters.  Then we have the other two- no love interest to each other,  but they will each have their own love story in the sequels after (if I get them).  So as I was writing my second boy character (not the main-main character), he pretty much told me he was gay.  Like, it just came out.  I didn't go along and think, hm, how can I make him more controversial...I know, I'll make him gay!  It totally didn't go like that.  I just...knew.  I started writing him, and the emotions that came with his friend in the beginning really blew me away.  So of course he's gay- he  But it's not like flamboyent "Just Jack" gay- it's more subtle, and he's a calm, wise-before-his-years guy.  I mean, this is a fantasy set in a world I made up, but with that classic medieval-type tendencies of horses, tunics, kings, and magic.  You normally wouldn't find a gay person in one of those, but I say...why not?  Why can't it just be there.  Like no controversy over it, and no one getting offended.  That's not the issue.  The issue is, why is this insane Mage trying to annialate our kingdom? 

Anyway, I digress...

Besides, his love story isn't the main point- its in the background.  If my book ever gets picked up, I do have sequels planned where each main character gets their own story and own POV (with the others still in the books of course).  But thats way down the line, and I don't get to write any type of sequel until this one sells.

Which brings me back to the squeelightful dragon book I am planning (and any other swimmy ideas in my head right now).  When you have an idea, or start writing a book, sometimes it takes you places you never thought could be possible.  In the beginning you swear you would never kill off a very important character...but then he dies and you cry like a baby because you weren't expecting it.  Or you swear on Edward's life that you would never write a love triangle (which, now that I think about it, that was stupid...Edward is technically my swearing was totally null and void, which means it was just inevitible for that to happen), but then you have an awesome idea for a love triangle and it HAS to happen.  Your characters are screaming at you to put it down on paper because that is the way they are, and they need to be validated on that paper or computer screen.

And, you never know.  The story might change when I start writing it.  My characters might be like, "Hey, I don't want to be in a love triangle" and I'll be all, "Okay" and see where they take me. 

BUT.  not until I finish this one.  Which, by-the-way, I am at around 75,000 words, and building right up to that spectacular climax.  I can't wait for it to be done, but at the same time I'll be sad.  I love my characters.  Plus I am UBER nervous to start writing a query letter to send out to agents.  Once all that is done, I can start on my new book, and let that journey take me to far off places I've never dreamed. Until then, I'll go snuggle down with my best friends er...I mean the people in my head...erm, my main characters of my book (whew, there we go, thats the right one) and tell their story that has been itching to get out for years.

So, what do you think about love triangles?  In Books or Movies?  Maybe I'll take a whole other post to talk about Buffy and her screwy, that might take several posts...or like a whole blog dedicated to all things Buffy..sigh...Oh um, yeah, you're still here.  Okay, go, find some cool love triangles and tell me whats worked for you.


Colene Murphy said...

Hey, you just write what you gotta. If a love triangle is a must, what can you do? I don't care for them either. Not overstate ones anyway. (Snape in love with Lily who was married to James. THAT was great. Understated, had a real motivational point to the plot and didn't suck away at my soul) I always find myself thinking...neigh, hoping one of the 3 will just DIE and end it already! But that is only because it is so rarely done right. Done right, a triangle can be everything! to a story. JMO.

Would love to hear more about your books!!

And I can't WAIT for the buffy post. <3

Jess said...

Wow...I love what Colene said...Snape, Lily and James was the perfect love triangle!! I would never have thought of it...I am one who likes love triangles...I can't help it...although talk about sucking out your heart and soul when you start rooting for one and hating the other...or even worse...when you like both of them!!!! It does consume the story though and can take away from other plot points....and a well written story can keep my interest even with NO love story at all in it :)

Abby Minard said...

Colene- yes, there will be Buffy posts....and Snape, Lilly and James is a good one!

Jess- I know you totally love them :) You'll love mine! And I totally agree- it doesn't HAVE to have a love interest...but they are nice, no?

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Abby-I HATE love triangles-how could you??;) But seriously, I was thinking of posting something similar on my blog too and how and when they can work-or when romances in general can work. I'm sick of these triangles where the best friend who is adorable and loyal and cute gets shafted for the dark mysterious hot stranger.

Abby Minard said...

Lol, Sarah (I know, we've had a good rant about love triangles before too). You will love mine! But seriously, if it doesn't work or it's too mean to the best friend, then I'm totally not doing it. Because I hate those too. He'll find his own girl, don't worry about that- maybe even before my MC does. they will both realize really quick they don't have those "love" feelings for each otehr and it's just like sibling love.

Definitely do a blog post on that- I want to see your opnions.