They’re everywhere, it seems.
In best-selling books.
In non-best-selling books.
In almost every romance you ever have read.
And I have yet to find one that doesn’t drive me wild.
What is it with these crazy, indecisive girls?
Perfect Guy 1 is obviously a great choice for Stupid Girl . But she doesn’t accept Guy 1 because Perfect Guy 2 is in the way.
And this goes on for a long time before Stupid Girl FINALLY decides that Guy 1 is better.
Something Reader 1 knew from the beginning. And the only reason Reader 1 was reading Book About Stupid Girl was because he/she wanted to see if Stupid Girl could get any stupider.
Great reason to read a book, right?
As if that weren’t enough, enter Reader 2. Reader 2 doesn’t like Guy 1. Guy 1 ain’t Reader 2’s kinda guy. Reader 2 prefers Guy 2.
Reader 2 walks off disgusted, frustrated, and disappointed, not wanting to read anything more by Author 1, not wanting to every read Book About Stupid Girl again, telling all his friends not to read anything by Author 1 or Book About Stupid Girl.
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a wee bit.
Well, a lot.
But you get my point, right? Love triangles are a waaaaay overused device by authors to keep a reader’s attention and to get more readers. Because if the reader doesn’t like one hero, he’s sure to like the other. But, unless your main character lives in a polygamous society, someone’s bound to be disappointed.
Unless Guy 2 is positively hateful and neither Reader 1 or Reader 2 can bear him.
But, in that case, why is Stupid Girl into him in the first place? Why do we like Stupid Girl if she’s blind enough not to see Guy 2’s faults?
There are probably some well-done love triangles … I just have yet to see one that didn’t cause me to lower my opinion of the book.
So, if you’re going to put romance in a book, be merciful to your readers! Don’t use the cliché-est of clichés! Keep the love triangles away!
*Love triangle image from here.