Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Dreaded Triangle

I've been working hard to catch up on my email (if you're still waiting to hear from me, don't worry, a reply IS coming).  And I've noticed a lot of you are writing to me about a term that's almost become like a bad word in the YA World: Love Triangles.

*pauses while you all gasp in horror*

To be clear, LET THE SKY FALL definitely does NOT have a love triangle. But some of you savvier readers have noticed something in there that's made you wonder if maybe, possibly I'm going to have a love triangle in book two, and I'm getting LOTS of emails worrying about it. So I realized: It's time for a blog post!

Sadly, I'm not going to tell you what happens in book 2 (and really, that would ruin all the fun anyway, wouldn't it?). But I can tell you this: I'm not a fan of love triangles.


(actually, that needs to be a bigger "but")


Before you go thinking that what you were worrying was going to happen in book 2 is now 100% NOT going to happen, you should know that I *might* have a different definition of love triangle than you.

Here's how *I* define a love triangle: 
Character X, who's probably the girl (but doesn't *have* to be), has two perfectly charming, perfectly wonderful love interests who are both as different as they are smokin' hot, and poor character X just can't decide which one she loves. Every time she starts to pick, the other love interest does something so wonderful and amazing that she gets all confused and conflicted and changes her mind. And back and forth the love interest swings through the entirety of the book (or sometimes even the trilogy) until I want to shout at the pages, "WILL YOU JUST DECIDE--LOVE SHOULDN'T BE THIS HARD!!!" (ahem)
That's not to say that I hate every book with that kind of subplot. There have been several series that--imho, at least--pulled it off rather nicely. But it's not my favorite plot device and it doesn't fit with Vane and Audra's story so I can promise you, you don't have to worry about that happening in the LET THE SKY FALL series.

HOWEVER (which is really just a fancy "but"):  I also don't believe that love needs to (or should) exist in a vacuum

It's VERY rare that someone falls in love with one person and that's the only person they ever consider and the only person everyone else ever thinks they should be with and it's a perfect, clear-cut, all-stars-are-in-alignment for that relationship kind of thing. 

Reality is just ... messier than that.

Maybe the character's friends or family don't approve because they want the character to be with someone else, and THEY try to pressure the character to change their mind. Or maybe somebody else likes the character, and tries to convince the character to give them a chance.

Either of those things would give the main character a moment of doubt, where they might wonder if they're making the right choice.

But to me, that's not a love triangle. That's love being tested. And I don't have any problem with that. In fact, I encourage it because I think testing the relationship only makes it stronger. Or maybe proves to the character that they really did make the wrong choice and makes them realize they need to end it.

Either way, it would only become a love triangle if the character dipped into that weird limbo of: I DON'T KNOW--I LOVE YOU BOTH EQUALLY.  

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, no--there won't be a love triangle in the LET THE SKY FALL series. But that doesn't mean it's going to be smooth sailing for the relationship either. 

Partially because I just don't believe love is that easy. But also because, well... I'm an especially evil author. Torturing my characters is a whole lot of fun. And my readers (you wonderful, wonderful people, you) get brought along for the crazy ride. You're welcome! :)

(and thank you so so so much for reading and caring enough to email me about these kind of things. I adore you all to pieces!) 


  1. SHE BLOGS! *faints* I hope you know I kid because I love!

    I'm glad you answered this. I always knew you enjoyed torturing your characters and the reader, but the answer is still nice to know. I think many need to remember that love being tested does not equal a triangle.

  2. I love this!
    I am not a big fan of 'love Triangles' either, but SOME books can pull them off, I have to admit!
    I completely agree that if the characters relationships don't have CONFLICTS and TESTS... Well, that's the most unrealistic thing in a book and would lose a whole bunch of points in my book.
    I think it's a good thing to challenge your characters love for one another to make it REAL and STRONGER.
    If two characters have the 'perfect' relationship and never have any troubles in the world, then they just seem...fake.
    Our goal as Authors are to make real emotions inside REAL people through our words that make them believe everything is real.
    And creating a shallow relationship is avoiding what we SHOULD be holding and cherishing dearly. <3
    Great advice, Shannon! I will most definitively keep this in mind while writing my characters relationships!
    And... OMG I CANNOT WAIT FOR LTSF 2!!!!!!!!!

  3. Love that you are getting all those frantic letters. haha.

    I too am a bit over the whole love triangle thing, but drama in love? Oh yeah, there's got to be drama!

  4. I torture my characters as well. And I think love triangles are great if used effectively and intelligently. Unfortunately that is sometimes rare. And I agree with Trisha, love needs drama. Glad you discussed this.

  5. I like love triangles, but only if the author can pull it off without making me hate the main character (who is always a girl) because she can't choose and just goes back and forth. And I hate picking teams (especially if the two love interests are equally appealing, because then I want both of them to be happy, whether that is with the main character or not!). But I don't like it when it's used as the focal point of the story, unless that was the author's intent. If it's not what the whole book is about, it shouldn't be used as a major plot point.

    Also, I love what you just said! I don't know if I've ever thought of it that way. But I agree with you about love needing to be tested. In many of the books I've read, the relationship is nearly always perfect with no bumps or bruises. It's just not real, and it makes the couple totally unbelievable.

    Anyway, I CANNOT wait to read Let the Storms Break! I just saw the cover, and I LOVE it! :)

  6. I LOVE YOU! Omg, I despise love triangles because they are getting so overrated. Thank you for deciding to not include a love triangle. It gets annoying after a while. I do not see a point in love triangles, and I think it is just created to add drama to the mix.

    P.S I cannot wait until Let the Storms Break comes out! I am so excited about this series.

  7. I LOVE YOU! Omg, I despise love triangles because they are getting so overrated. Thank you for deciding to not include a love triangle. It gets annoying after a while. I do not see a point in love triangles, and I think it is just created to add drama to the mix.

    P.S I cannot wait until Let the Storms Break comes out! I am so excited about this series.


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.