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?