Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Twin Talk Tuesday

Today I am excited to announce the first installment of Midnight Meditation's new weekly feature: Twin Talk Tuesday.

For Twin Talk Tuesday, (or Triple T,) Diana and I will debate and discuss topics that are on our minds. Or should I say MIND, because, ya know, we're telepathic and all. (Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

Today's topic is the ever present LOVE triangle. Love it? Or leave it?

Renee:Personally, I'm a fan, and I'll tell you why.

1. Love triangles add TENSION
2. Love triangles are FUN
3. I kind of have a thing for tragic love, and with a LT, there can only be one winner. Therefore one person is all tragic and sad.
And I like that.

Diana: Ok * cracks knuckles* Why do I take issue with LTs?

1. Love triangles are cliche
2. Love triangles .....Ok I'm not going to try the three point approach. I guess my biggest problem with them is that they is rarely a surprise in them. We always know who she is going to choose. Think about it, name me one LT where you were surprised by the girl or boy's choice.

Um . . . Well, I was going to say Peeta, because he went all tracker jacker crazy, which I bet NO ONE saw coming. But I guess we all kinda knew she'd end up with him in the very end.

***End spoiler***

Diana: How about Pride and Prejudice? Elizabeth-Darcy-Wickham. Who should poor Elizabeth choose? Rich handsome Darcy? or soldier boy Wickham? Obviously, she'll pick Darcy.

Renee: Ah, but you see, Elizabeth doesn't like Darcy at first. And Wickham doesn't really like Elizabeth. I'd argue that P&P is not a true love triangle.

Diana: Ok, what about Arthur-Guenivere-Lancelot?

Renee: A love triangle, indeed. And we all love it. (Boo-ya)

Diana: Ok.... we all do love it....

Renee: I rest my case.

Diana: Maybe I am changing my point. There ARE classic LT's that work. Maybe they work so well that everyone tried to copy them . . . and most failed.

Renee: I can agree with that.

Diana: For example..The Notebook.

Renee: Don't diss Old People Love!

Diana: Oh I am not dissing old people love! (You are talking to the girl with the movie Lovely, Still on my queue)

Renee: HA. Actually, I know YOU wouldn't diss old people love. (Little Known Fact: Diana has a crush on Peter Coyote.)

Diana: No comment. :) Seriously though, I'm dissing the fact that the Allie-Lon-Noah triangle is poorly constructed. The Allie-Noah love gets tons of attention [(at least in the movie) I have not read the book have you??] and they devote ten seconds to her love with Lon and when the moment of choice comes we are supposed to believe that she would actually choose Lon over her EPIC love with Noah?? please...

Diana: Or the Ross-Rachel-Joey triangle from TV. I mean . . . JOEY?? Don't get me wrong, he was a semi lovable character, but that was a bit of a stretch

Renee: True, true. Oh, I have one! OMGDawson's Creek?! Though in that one Joey and Dawson did NOT end up together. Unexpected, at least. Made up for a bit of the melodrama

Diana: Didn't see it.

Renee: Now THAT's tragic

Diana: hmmm, I'll have to look it up.

Renee: No really. Don't.

Anyway, you do have a point. I get annoyed when the other guy feels arbitrarily added on for Tension™. But you have to admit that when they get things right, it's AWESOME.

Diana: Well . . . yes.

Renee: Like Arthur-Guenivere-Lancelot.

Diana. True. OR Scarlett-Rhett-Ashley (yowsa!)

Renee: YES!!

Diana: Anna-Vronsky-Kitty (SIGH)

Renee: Oh H-yes :)

Diana: I guess my point is, love triangles can be a guilty pleasure, but it is a bit like making bbq ribs. It takes a lot of time (you can't rush good ribs), it takes just the right seasonings, and then it has to be grilled just enough, otherwise forget it.

Renee: Now I'm all hungry . . . (For ribs, or a good love triangle? Or BOTH at the same time? *ponders the awesomeness*)

Renee: Well, it looks like this first ever twin debate may just have a warm, fuzzy ending.

Diana: Aww


So what do YOU think? Love Triangles, love or loathe? Name your favorite love triangle in the comment's section! Unless of course you only loathe. In which case, share why you do!


C. N. Nevets said...

Being a tough, macho writer of scary fiction, I don't even know what a love triangle is.


Being a guy who watches Asian school dramas with wife... Hello.

While these examples will be meaningless as examples, I'll still use them because they make the point.

In the Japanese drama Hana Yori Dongo, a girl is torn between the sweet prince in white armor and the bad boy. Not only is the setup a bit cliche (except that they're both rich), but there's nothing sympathetic at all about the bad boy character and fans, who are rabid about the show, nevertheless almost uniformly reject this love triangle because the girl's choice for the bad boy feels totally arbitrary and so there's no real emotional tension with it.

Then there's the Japanese drama Hana Kimi. It has a similar setup, minus the rich part. The bad boy is a little more sympathetic, but in the end the choices of the characters seem arbitrary and so there are mixed feelings about fans about that love triangle.

On the other hand, in the Mainland China and Taiwan versions of the same shows, respectively, the choices of the girl are far less arbitary, and fans feel far more pulled into the tension with her, in which case there is real investment in the relationship and tension over the possible outcomes. Because you can actually understand her making either choice.

Possibly the best love triangle I've seen in Asian school dramas is in Nobuta Wa Produce in which the girl has a choice between two guys who are equally likable and equally make sense for her. But all along you're pretty sure you know who she's going to pick.

Except that, in the end, she says, "Um, actually you're both good friends and I don't love either of you, but thanks."

It was a great twist, handled much better than I just described it.

Your reader reader needs to invest in a love triangle just as much as they need to invest in the rest of your story. If your triangle isn't investment-worthy, dump it.

But, as I said, I'm not sure what a love triangle even is.

R.S.J. said...

One more point for the love triangle. I love me some good three-way-heart-tearing. And I can't believe you didn't mention the Edward-Bella-Jacob triangle. *Gasp* I saw the picture of the two of you and your shirts!

Miriam S. Forster said...

Hang on here though. I read The Notebook BEFORE I saw the movie, and I couldn't figure out who she was going to end up with until right before the big reveal.

Maybe that says more about me than it does about the book...

My favorite recent love triangle? Allie Condie's Matched. I knew who she was going to pick in the end, but it was one of those rare triangles where everything made since. Not contrived at all.

Renee Collins said...

C.N.N (*hehe)-Naturally, I wouldn't have expected a man of your level of machoness to understand love triangles, but I appreciated your effort. ;)

Seriously though, what's interesting about your comment is that the same love triangle that didn't work in one place, worked in another. I think that says a lot about the importance of execution.

R.S.J-Woot! Team Love Triangle! And yes, we decided to think of love triangles other than Twilight.

That said, I did enjoy the books. :) When I read them, however, the movies weren't even announced yet, so I did NOT envision Jacob to be as chiseled and smoldering as Taylor Lautner. When I read the books, I envisioned a younger, kinda goofy kid. So it was hard to believe that she'd EVER pick him over Edward.

Miriam-Ah, interesting! I totally believe it. In a book, there is much more time to develop the different characters. Hmm, now I think I'll check that one out.

And I agree about Matched! That love triangle definitely worked. I can't wait to read the next one!

Jessie Oliveros said...

I like love triangles, whether they are predictable or not. But of course you really have to define LOVE TRIANGLE. I suppose the way I've seen it most of the time, it is one girl deciding between two boys who are both in love with her. Maybe we love LT's so much because they are so incredible, meaning they don't happen in real life as often as they happen in fiction. I mean, how often did you like a boy that didn't like you back? Enter two boys in love with you. It's practically high fantasy. It should really be its own genre. (And you're telling me she picked PEETA?!?) (Just kidding. Read. Loved. Team Peeta from the beginning, but I was thrown off by his crazies.)

Renee Collins said...

Jessie-lol, you gave me a heart attack for about .5 seconds. I was like, OH NOOOOOOO! I ruined Mockingjay for her!

I should put a spoiler alert, I guess. :)

But you're right about the definition of love triangles. It should vary more, for sure. And here's the truth, this one summer I had two friends who both liked me at the same time. And I totally liked one not the other. (no romantic, back and forth, who oh who shall I pick?) And in the end, it totally sucked to have to burn the guy friend who liked me. Not fun. Not romantic. I pretty much hated it.

Jolene Perry said...

It's a love/hate thing. I hate the annoying boy caught in the story simply for the purpose of torture but I also hate two good choices. Guess that means I'm kind of a hate/hate.
I don't mind an extra love interest that you DON'T like thrown in for distraction... but then, I guess, that too, isn't a love triangle.

You two crack me up.

Jill Kemerer said...

I do enjoy a well-written love triangle, because part of the fantasy of reading is imagining it happen to you. Who wouldn't want two hotties fighting for them? At least in fiction!

Renee Collins said...

Jolene-Very true! I too get rather annoyed with the tortured Extra Boy, especially when he has no apparent reason to love the MC.

Jill-haha, true! It is definitely fun to read about. And fun to imagine ourselves in the scenario, for sure. :)

Patti said...

Awesome debate. I love a good love triangle, but I think they are over done right now. Every book seems to have one and lots arent' done well. Just my two cents.

Love your new blog format.

Candice said...

I just finished Mockingjay Today!!! It's a good thing too. You should put a big ole ***SPOILERS**** warning on this post!! Of course I might be the only YA writer on the planet who waited this long to finish the series, so you're probably safe. I love a GOOD love triangle, but seriously, there are so few of those. I honestly think Twilight started a trend that has made them far too common. But what I really love is Twin Talk Tuesday. That's me loving you two, a love triangle where everyone wins!!

Renee Collins said...

Patti-Yeah, they are overdone for sure. And not often done right.

Candice-Spoiler alert added. I feel so dumb that I forgot that! My b, by b. ;)

And I'm glad you like Diana and I. We like you too. :)

Kasie West said...

I am a love triangle fan. And I actually hope that I can predict who is going to win because otherwise I'm ticked when the right one doesn't. But right now I have no idea who is going to win in The Vampire Diaries love triangle of Stephan-Elana-Damon. (Go Damon!) But I haven't read the books so maybe it's more obvious in the books. That being said, I don't think there always has to be a love triangle. Sometimes I grow tired of them.

KLM said...

OK, leaving aside my continuing skepticism that you all are actual twins and not just some sad little delusion of Renee's, concocted to sucker in blog readers... I really think this TTT format is hilarious for pretty much any subject and am looking forward to future installments, especially if they devolve into "mom always liked me best."

As for love triangles, I think they're just one tactic to use to keep two lovers apart for as long as possible. Even when writers don't use a LT in their plot, they use some other means to delay the gratification in some way. Look at Romeo & Juliet -- no love triangle there. Just a whole lotta of familial opposition and tragic miscommunication.

But are LTs getting a little played out? Yeah. I gotta agree with .. well, whoever made that point. The one who looks like Renee, I think it was.

Lee Wind said...

This was really fun! Nice format, but I kind of agree that if not done really well, love triangles kinda suck. And frankly, if they ARE weighted too evenly, that doesn't work either. We have to be rooting for the couple A-B to end up together, or when A-C end up together we won't be satisfied. But if we don't really BELIEVE A might end up with either B or C, the whole thing falls apart. Maybe we just need B and C to hook up because A's just too needy, and that's the happy ending?
Fun to consider in the abstract!

Renee Collins said...

Kasie-Interesting. You don't hear many people say they WANT to predict the love triangle. But I can see your point, for sure. You don't want to reach the end and be like, "WHA???"

Kristen-Am I really a twin, or a blogging evil genius? I guess it will have to remain one of life's mysteries. Like: Are we alone in the Universe? Or: Is Elvis really dead?

Lee-"B and C hook up because A's too needy" hahaha, now that would be a fresh twist to the love triangle! :)

Wendy said...

Shakespeare's Twelfth Night has a real love triangle: Orsino is in love with Olivia, who falls in love with "Cesario" who is Viola in disguise, and Viola falls in love with Orsino. Talk about complicated!