In Which Our Heroine Discusses Love Triangles

I ended up leaving a comment a few weeks ago on another writer’s blog regarding her thought on love triangles and how much they seem to be used. She wasn’t such a big fan of the practice, but I had some thoughts I wanted to throw in and I did. It lead to a nice little comment back and the conversation lingered in my mind.

The bottom line is, love triangles are stressful for more than just the protagonist having to make the choice about who they want to end up with. I maintain that do a true love triangle justice you have to establish both potential partners as being the one as well as having some sort of flaw that makes them not the one. If you pull this off well, your readers will align themselves into separate camps, and affix some title beginning with “Team” upon their relationship or “ship” of choice. The separate teams will play as nicely together as the Capulets and the Montagues and  half of them will feel disappointed and betrayed when their choice doesn’t win.

See also my experience as a Apollo/Starbuck shipper on the most recent Battlestar Galactica for an example. They will still qualify as one of my favorite OTPs for the record.

This shipping business can get very complicated and sometimes take the author by surprise. I recall reading that the author of a certain popular set of vampire stories didn’t expect her werewolf character to gain a following of his own. But they clearly exist and are very enthusiastic to prove this anytime Taylor Lautner has to remove his shirt during one of those movies.

I understand a group of fans was particularly upset when J. K. Rowling stated that Ron and Hermione were her couple of choice and that Harry and Hermione were never going to happen.

I have also witnessed cases of fans latching onto pairings that the writers never intended or saw, but the fans most certainly did.

I can’t write like that, while I don’t mind another character trying to cause some sort of upset to my couple, I have blatant favoritism for my romantic hero. It’s just the way I am, however I must hand it to those writers who can create two romantic rivals knowing that they will most likely have to crush one of them horribly.

In Which Our Heroine Reflects on Super Heroes

My current work-in-progress is not the only idea I’m working on. I’m of the form opinion that a writer should have several ideas because you never know what will sell. If you get lucky enough that one of your first ideas sell, then you already have other ideas for your next project. Win-win!

The other night, the husband, mother-in-law and I were watching the commentary for The Avengers because I adore Joss and like to use commentary to get into his brain as a writer. Besides, I’ve been tossing around an idea fora thought of a superhero idea right now. I’m fascinated with the thought of what our world would be like if super heroes were a common fact of life. What would they be like? How did they get into the hero business? Who are their enemies? How does this impact their family and personal life. Since I write YA, how does this huge thing work when it collides with all of the stuff that impacts a teenager’s life?

That and I know I will get to write great one-liners.

On the other hand, my brain likes to think in terms of a series which gets trickier. I am a firm believer in making sure your villains are not just evil “Mwahaha” kind of people. “Why am I evil? Because I can!” doesn’t work for me. I love Marvel’s Loki for such a reason. I think you get a more interesting villain when they are a person with their own struggles and problems who take the opposite way of solving them than our protagonist takes. For another great literary example compare the origins of Voldemort and Harry Potter. You feel sympathy for both of their origins, but when Tom Riddle becomes gradually twisted by it and makes the choices he does, he becomes the undeniable villain of the series. It reminds you of how Harry’s decisions and the support of his friends and surrogate family are what keeps him from a similar fate.

Maybe I will get to the superhero stuff eventually, but for me, the hardest part will be making sure my villains stack up.