YA Indie Carnival: Creating a Love Triangle

With NaNoWriMo upon us, we could all use some ideas and tips. This week’s post from the YA Indie Carnival folks is ‘Creating a Love Triangle’. I have to admit that this is a challenging topic for me. I don’t write romance really, and when I do it’s wonky and off the rails. Here are some of my experiences writing romance:

I wrote a Babylon 5 fan fiction novel called The Long Trial on fanfiction.net like 10 years ago. The only romance in that was at the end, by a Minbari and half-Minbari (aliens with bones crests on their heads), after a long build up of bitching at each other and beating each other up (they were warrior caste).

The sex scenes in my novel Pazuzu’s Girl were between demons, or demons and fairies. So…demon sex.

The one romance scene I tried to write on purpose for a writing prompt at a get-together of my writing group became this goofy anti-vegetarian meat orgy love story (no offense to my vegetarian friends). It was as much a response to a couple of very outspoken vegans I encountered who tried relentlessly to convert me.

So I actually have zero experience writing about love triangles, since my experience writing even couples who are normal (within certain definitions of normal) is limited. But it may be fun to try and see what happens.

If I refer back to and critique the love triangles I have seen in literature, that I can think of, I enjoyed the tension between Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Rachel Dare, in the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. It is a young adult series, for the younger end, so there’s no sex in it, but the build up to the kiss is very satisfying and very realistic for teenagers. Though it was what most adults wish their teenage experience had been. If you haven’t read the series, I won’t give any more away. What was good about it was that it wasn’t goopy (the scenes, not the kiss), or overly dramatic.

The biggest reason I don’t read or write much romance is that there is a tendency toward certain kinds of dramatic description in much romance, that I am just not a fan of. If it’s too purple, it kicks me out of the story. I can’t read the words or phrases ‘supple thighs’ or read about someone’s ‘porcelain skin’, or ‘hair like a raven’s wing’ very many times before I want to stick a fork in my eye and add my own super violent scene in which everyone dies in a very Army of Darkness kind of way. Though this is just a preference thing from a former angry death-metalhead.

There’s nothing actually wrong with purpley kind of romance. I do enjoy it upon occasion. I admit to the guilty pleasure of savoring Anne Rice’s very S&M-ey Beauty series, where she wrote under Anne Roquelaure. The only way to describe it is upscale nicely-packaged fairy-tale porn. I’m not ashamed to say that when it made the rounds in my campus at college, it…lingered for a few weeks in my dorm room. And you would have to do a lot of complicated mathematical geometric juggling to call the relationships in that trilogy love ‘triangles’. They were more like multidimensional tesseracts.

In fact, that genre of fiction sells billions of dollars every year because it takes lots of people out of our boring lives for a while. Unless I suddenly become a martial arts master with super-X-Men Earthbending powers, suddenly discover that my real father is God of the Greek or Sumerian or Egyptian Underworld, and get hired as an astronaut in the next 20 years, I’m not one to scorn wish-fulfillment. But usually, I most appreciate romance scenes that are frank and basic, since I’m a frank and basic kind of person. But to each, his or her own. See what other experienced writers in the YA Indie Carnival have for tips on writing love triangles, or tetrahedrons…below:

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. translation agency

And see what’s new this week here! Happy NaNoWrimo, and good luck in your writing for the second half of the month!


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