I was just commenting on a blog post the other day that some readers are drawn to love triangles so they can put themselves in the shoes of the desired one. Today I'm brainstorming on a story that has to do with twisted love triangles of sorts. So that got me thinking about love triangles that I've seen in books, on TV, and in the movies. What makes a love triangle sizzle, and what makes a love triangle somewhat cliché?
Here's the formula for a cliche love triangle: Girl or boy is torn between two contenders. One would make the perfect polka dance partner, and the other is someone you'd go on a dangerous motorcycle ride with. Usually, the polka dancer is an open book while the motorcycle rider is more of the brooding type. Now I'm not dissing cliche love triangles- they do sell books and draw in audiences.
Example: Back in the day, I was curious to know who Kelly from the original 90210 would pick- boy scout Brandon or living-on-the-edge Dylan. Hence, her infamous line, "I choose me!" Yeah, anyway.
So while predictable love triangles don't always turn me off (but they often do), I am more captivated by a love triangle with some depth, when there is something more to be unraveled and shown by all parties as the story plays out. Contenders shouldn't be typecast as the sweetheart or the rebel, but simply individuals with strengths and weaknesses.
Example: Katniss-Gale-Peeta from THE HUNGER GAMES series depict an interesting love triangle. The characters are all complex in their own ways and I can't characterize one guy as being the polka dancer and the other as the motorcycle rider.
What else makes a love triangle interesting? Can you think of other love triangles in books, in TV, or movies?