Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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And you thought love triangles were complicated?

Even if you think love triangles are simple (or passe, or tedious, or whatever), this is still a fun post.

Over at Epic Reads, a “study of love triangles and other emotional shapes.”

Formula: Person A likes Person B + Person C likes Person B + Person B is torn = Classic Love Triangle

Yes, that’s simple enough, right?

Well, how about this one?

Formula: Person A likes Person B + (Persons C through Y can see they’re meant to be together) + Person Z likes Person A = Vanishing Cone

I read this several times and still am not sure I have it figured out. Who’s Person Z again?

Actually, all of these are (triangle, shattered triangle, vanishing cone, selection sphere, half-remembered trapezoid) are illustrated with diagrams and with examples from YA fiction, so that makes them easier to sort out. I really enjoy the names the most! The “half-remembered trapezoid”, who came up with that, right?

I will say, of the examples give, I’ve only read THE HUNGER GAMES.

I think my own books tend to include maybe a Half-Visible Straight Line With Slight Hints of a Triangle. Mostly I think my characters are too busy saving the world to really figure out whether they’re falling in love with anybody. Not invariably, granted, but still.

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1 Comment And you thought love triangles were complicated?

  1. Elaine T

    Ranma 1/2 (an anime & manga series) reportedly, according to the Teenager, has a love octohedron. She’s tried to explain it to me, but it refuses to stick. This one is particularly complicated by a character who can be either female or male, and another character who is in love with the male form, but wants to kill the female….
    Total of 9 characters in love with female form, 4 in love with male, only one of whom he likes back…almost all of whom have their own people in love with them, too.

    Ah, TV Tropes has an entry for such things, complete with diagram. Apparently it is most often played for laughs. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LoveDodecahedron

    I think in the example of vanishing cone, person z is the oddball who is interested but clearly not going to get object of affection.

    CJC’s Yvgenie has a nifty solution to the love triangle problem.

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