Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Twilight vs Vampire Diaries

Since we seem to be on a cage match theme....

Sure, lots of teen girls love Twilight, but in terms of the love triangle, why does The Vampire Diaries work so much better than Twilight?



Well, at the SCBWI conference, keynote speaker Cassandra Clare had an explanation that, after I heard it, seemed obvious, although I must admit it hadn't occurred to me before. Huge light bulb moment. Love those.

She was talking about the power of forbidden love as a theme in YA fiction and the popularity of the love triangle. And what she pointed out was that sometimes so-called love triangles aren't triangles at all, but love vees.

If two boys both want one girl, let's say, then that's a vee.

But if the two boys have a relationship that's just as strong as each of their feelings for the girl... then you've got a real triangle -- where each line of the triangle has a strong dynamic.

That's why the Damon, Stefan, Elena triangle is so compelling. (Well, on the TV show, I have to say, for me, it mostly works because of Ian Somerhalder, but I've heard it works in the books too.)


The triangle in The Vampire Diaries is powerful and emotional because Damon and Stefan are brothers who love each other and who've already had a relationship for, well, more than a hundred years before either of them meet and fall in love with Elena. And of course the fact that they've been in other love triangles in the past makes the dynamic even more interesting.

Sadly, I realized listening to her talk that in my upcoming book, Deviants, I've created a vee, not a triangle... But I've put some pretty huge forbidden-love-style obstacles in between the heroine and each boy, and some other twisty twists, so I hope it will be an compelling love vee over the course of the three books in the trilogy.

What are some other love triangles or vees that you think have or haven't worked?




9 comments:

Sinead M said...

Love that, a triangle versus a Vee.... and obviously I love Vampire diaries, because they've made either brother a viable choice, but more this season, when the reasons not to choose either are so strong.

Eileen said...

Vee vs. triangle. That is a light bulb moment, isn't it? I'd never thought about it that way.

The first Love Vee that I remember feeling totally swoony over was in a Cherry Ames book. I wish I could remember which one. There was the arrogant doctor who was suspected of doing something heinous (I think it had to do with the development of penicillin) and I can't remember the other guy!

I just remember the end of the book where Cherry swoons into the arrogant doctor's arms and murmurs, "Rex, you're cleared. You're cleared!"

Sigh.

Maureen McGowan said...

Ha about swooning over the arrogant doctor.

Love triangles (or vees) don't seem to be as common/popular in adult fiction as they are in YA...

Now in adult reality TV...

Trying to think how to describe The Bachelor. Love spoke? Love spider?

Molly O'Keefe said...

I think this is crazy crazy smart. Love triangles really rarely work for me but when I think of Hunger Games, the triangle got a whole lot more interesting in the third book when the two boys had a connection.

One more thing to think about...

Eileen said...

OMG! Did you see the cover of Entertainment Weekly?

Maureen McGowan said...

Eileen, wow. That is some cover! YA has come of age. ;)

Eileen said...

And needs someone to give it condoms, I think.

Maureen McGowan said...

LOL

Elena is (like most YA protagonists) lacking parental supervision.

Anonymous said...

Elena is (like most YA protagonists) lacking parental supervision.

Well said, Maureen. We can't blame the children for all the world's problems in today's day and age. If they have strong parental guidance, they will be better at making good decisions and better at knowing right from wrong. We can use a whole lot more of that in this world today.

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