Ahhh, the love triangle. Stephenie Meyer’s favorite plot device. When you’re writing a love triangle from a first person or third person limited perspective, it’s hard to write a lot of multi-directional triangles. However, writing from a third-person omniscient perspective gives you the freedom to explore the other two prongs of the love triangle.

Love Triangles

Photo by Jin

Classic Love Triangles

Say you’ve got a classic love triangle where one character (I’ll call her Leslie) is interested in two other people (who I’ll call Charlie and Ted).

In a first person or third person limited story, you would get to know Leslie and her particular quirks and how she views each of these gentlemen, and the pros and cons of her developing a relationship with either of them.

Omniscient Love Triangles

 

However, with an omniscient narrator, you also get to see how Charlie and Ted each view Leslie, and, if they are acquainted with each other, how they feel about her.

You could have an alternative love triangle where Leslie is interested in Charlie, but Charlie is interested in Leslie’s friend Gwen. Maybe Gwen doesn’t want to compromise her friendship with Leslie, but she still really likes Charlie, and then all of a sudden they get together and now have to keep this blossoming relationship (or one-night stand) a secret from Leslie.

Or maybe Leslie is interested in both Charlie and Ted, and decides to have flings with both of them in order to determine which one she likes better. Maybe Charlie and Ted know about this, or maybe they’re both oblivious. Maybe only Charlie knows, and he’s ok with it. Maybe Ted is the only one who knows, and it’s eating away at his conscience.

Two may be company, but three is where things get interesting, especially if your reader knows more than each of the individual characters do.

Do you like love triangles in books and films or do they drive you nuts?

PRACTICE

Write a love triangle scenario with an omniscient viewpoint. Post your practice in the comments when you’re finished.

Liz Bureman
Liz Bureman
Liz Bureman has a more-than-healthy interest in proper grammatical structure, accurate spelling, and the underappreciated semicolon. When she's not diagramming sentences and reading blogs about how terribly written the Twilight series is, she edits for the Write Practice, causes trouble in Denver, and plays guitar very slowly and poorly. You can follow her on Twitter (@epbure), where she tweets more about music of the mid-90s than writing.