|Rick or Vic?|
Does ever great love story actually involve three people?
I've been wondering this as I work on the outline for a romance. Originally, I envisioned the conflict as coming from the opposing motives of the hero and heroine. But I feel as though perhaps a third charcter, now on the periphery, might move in to create a love triangle.
What do you think? Is there more tension when there is a serious second contender for the hero or heroine's heart? Clearly, the love triangle has the power to generate interest above and beyond the simple romance, or it wouldn't be such a tried and true plot device....
|Ed or Jake?|
It seems also that in the best love triangles, the two choices mean something, beyond the obvious. Rick and Victor in Casablanca represent different attitudes towards involvement in the war, which is why, no matter how much Elsa loves Rick, it's right that she goes with Victor. (Please don't whine about spoilers if you didn't know this. Please.) Likewise, Jacob and Edward are totally different personalities, and bring out a different aspect of Bella. James Bond always has two female flings, the good girl and the naughty vixen; usually one is blond or redhead and the other is a brunette so you won't be confused by their otherwise identically vapid personalities.
It would be fairly boring if the love triangle offered the chooser the option of two guys/gals who were pretty much alike. It would be like Bond having to chose between two redheads in the same movie. What would he do with himself?
My point is, if there is a triangle, it should have a deeper meaning than just another pretty face. It shouldn't be, "Well, I could marry this guy and live in suburbia with five kids, or that guy and live in suburbia with five kids," it should be "Well, I could marry this guy and save the free world or marry that guy and defect to Burma."
Who we choose to love should impact the fate of the whole world. At least in fiction.
Happy Valentines Day!