Nothing like the smell of young adult fiction! *deep breath* Ah, yes. . . dystopian societies, corrupt governments, teenage main characters. And, never forget, the ever-popular LOVE TRIANGLE!
They're in Twilight, Matched, The Selection, The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, Throne of Glass, Starcrossed, The Raven Boys, Rebel Heart, Shatter Me, Uglies. Sweet mangoes, the list is long, and it keeps going. Maybe it's just me, but I'm sick and tired of them.
STOP. WITH. THE LOVE. TRIANGLES. Love triangles are an abomination of the romance genre. This isn't romance. This is. . . this is some kind of Dark Matter. Go back to the void from whence you came.
But before I harp on why you really shouldn't write them and all the authors that failed miserably trying to, I will say they're not all bad. Writing love triangles is a delicate art that really does work sometimes, if the story and characters are advanced enough and it doesn't sound forced. Most people actually like a good love triangle, including myself. Problem is, I've read one book that makes the love triangle work. So ha-ha, you get to read an entire blog post about why I hate them, starting with basic anatomy:
Believe it or not, a love triangle is actually where we have Person A, B, and C and they're all in some sort of relationship with each other, which sounds to me like one big, sticky mess. The love triangle that every author, for some twisted reason, believes they must include in their YA novel is really like a love V, where Person A and B have nothing between them and are focused on Person C. Looks like somebody failed their geometry classes.
Whatever, you're thinking. I'm going to write a love triangle, and it's going to be great. Everybody's going to love it and it will not be cliché, just you watch!
Good luck with that.
They suck the life out of your story (and characters)
We begin with a perfectly lovely story. Plenty of nice characters and some building conflict, and maybe a lover. And then we add a love triangle. Love triangles are the color black, or maybe saffron. Add even a pinch too much saffron and your soup tastes like India exploded everywhere.
Same with love triangles. You throw one into your story, thinking you're going to be able to control it, keep it at nothing more that subplot status. Then BAM, it's turned into your driving force. (Readers collectively groan). What was once a great story turns into slushpot of "I love you. I think." and cheesy lovey-dovey scenes.
You don't need to be psychic to predict them.
You don't even need to be smart. The girl has her lifelong best friend (who, how conveniently, is a guy) which she might have a total crush on. But after they share their first passionate kiss, a new boy shows up. He's tall, dark, and brooding, with an unknown tragic backstory. The girl is completely smitten with this new stranger and tries to get him to open up. Eventually he does, and they share a passionate kiss. And then the girl doesn't know what to do. Who will she choose? Oooooh, so suspenseful.
YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO RESOLVE THEM, SO YOU DON'T
I feel very angry about this in particular. The author has all these "team whatshisface" and "team whoeverheis" that they're sure that if they make Miss Congeniality make a choice like a rational human being, their readers will go berserk. So they kill someone off. And after a moment of sadness, the girl runs off with whoever isn't dead. Yayyyyy.
The girl loses any and all redeeming qualities
I don't know why, but it seems like this happens nearly every time. In the beginning, we had a pretty great female main character. And then she becomes nothing but a shallow pond so that we can see the boys' "chiseled jaw" or "perfect eyes" better. This is absolutely revolting. If I see this, ever, in your writing, I will personally make sure you step in water with your socks on every time you're wearing socks for the rest of your life.
So basically everything about love triangles is gross. Just, seriously, don't. Unless you make sure none of the above mentioned things happen, plus seventeen other things that I can't quite remember but are just as bad. Anyway. . . yeah. Everything wrong with the world summed up in a blog post.
Leave a comment if I missed anything, or want me to write a post about something. I'd love to hear your feedback!