Saturday, September 17, 2011

Taking Chances: Love Triangles

Apologies for the tardiness of my post. I thought I had it up already :(

You know, when I started writing, I always thought love triangles were kind of silly. Sure a girl (or guy) might be lucky enough that two people are really into them at the same time, but in my experience when that happened there was usually an easy decision involved. It was pretty rare for two people to have an equal shot. And even though love triangles are common in both romance and YA, I don't always like to write them for one simple reason.

They're hard to get right.

For starters, you have to devote time and energy to both relationships. If you make it too easy for the reader to guess the "winner", you it means you aren't really best utilizing the trope. If you don't really have a "Team Stefan" versus "Team Damon" thing going on, why bother with it because odds are it won't really add anything to the story or the reader's experience. So, sometimes the romance is pretty straightforward for me. One couple. Period.

That doesn't mean I won't make things hard for them. And it doesn't mean I won't tear them apart for a while before they realize they should have been together all along, but in those instances, the reader will be the one yelling at the book, "No! He's no good for you!" They'll be in on things and understand that the couple who started together should be together.

But right now... I haz a love triangle.

I think I've given both characters enough time to make readers root for both of them, but I'm nervous about the whole thing. You see... it isn't a standard love triangle and it sure as hell doesn't get resolved the way most of them do. I've made jokes about it recently to my magical unicorns (aka--betas-of-awesome), but even they seem a little leery of this one.

Fortunately or unfortunately, it's the right story for this character--it's what she needs, on a lot of levels--so I doubt I'll change it.

Someone once told me that I'm not afraid to
take risks in my writing. Great compliment, but so very, very untrue. It terrifies me every stinking time. It's like being afraid of heights and trying to conquer the fear by zip-lining and bungee-jumping and sky-diving. Even if you love the adrenaline rush, there's that moment when you're standing on the edge, staring at the jump, and you don't feel even a twinge of excitement. Because in that instant (however brief), you're scared to death. That's how I feel whenever I do something in my work that pushes boundaries or isn't "mainstream" enough.

Problem is, when you're standing there, you only have two options: jump or go home. So far, I've always managed to jump.

I just always pray I don't die on my way down.

So, dear readers, tell me the truth. How do you feel about authors who take risks (small or big, differentiate if you like)?


Cassandra (The Book and Movie Dimension blogger) said...

I think they should only if it's what they really want.

A Reader

roro said...

taking risks is good but it can crash and burn

Janelle Alexander said...

Just jump, woman! Your magical unicorns will catch you if you start to crash and burn.

And as much as I'm one team over the other *cough* Max *cough*, you know I trust you.

A "risk" done well makes a story worth reading. And yours are all worth reading. <3

Seleste deLaney said...

I have to say... y'all are making me nervous LOL.

*hugs* and thanks for the input :)

Julie Particka

Rebecca Royce said...

This is a great post. Do it. Do it!

Kimber An said...

I think it's good to stretch your writerly muscles and that carries risks.

I like a good Love Triangle done well. I haven't actually written one yet. My heroine usually has several hot guys to deal with, but her heart is set on just one. The others simply haven't gotten the hint yet. One of these days, I'm going to have to try though. I think it's worth the risk.

J.A. Campbell said...

Go for it! You're an awesome writer and you'll pull it off. I like it when authors change things up a little because it keeps reading their work fresh.

I avoid standard love triangles too :)


Seleste deLaney said...

Thanks, ladies :) I'm starting the deeper revisions on it now and hope to have it sent off early October. I guess one way or another I'll find out if it was too big of a risk. *bites nails and chants mantra*

Whatever fits the story....whatever fits the story...

Julie Particka