Writing a Change of Heart


Anonymous asked: “Writing love triangles is difficult for me, for my novel the guy likes this girl and they would hook up but she has a boyfriend. But then this other girl likes this guy – how can i show that the guy is slowly developing feelings for the other girl instead?”

I don’t write a ton about love triangles. I don’t think I necessarily write a ton about romance to begin with. But we’re going to break this one down. 

While this is clearly a situation about a love triangle, this is one of those love triangles that you kind of see play out quite a bit in real life. It’s not the dramatic who will she choose? where the naïve heroine is just as much in love with one as she is the other. It’s what I’m calling a change of heart. 

So, with this example, we have the guy in a relationship without commitment and while he might care about the girl he’s with, it’s clear she doesn’t care enough about him to leave her boyfriends and establish an actual relationship with him. The other, boyfriend-less (I’m assuming) girl, who he meets, who is open to a relationship, seems to be a healthier and happier romantic option for this guy. Part of his decision to leave the girl he’s with and get together with the other girl is going to be in realizing that. He doesn’t have to feel like “second best” or like he’s ruining someone else’s relationship (which on that, there’s probably more issues than just him). But still, it’s not going to be easy on him and even if he cares deeply for this girl, it’s probably not a relationship that can last. 

The other girl might not be vying for his affections. She may not know about the girl with the boyfriend. Or if she does know, is that something the guy is ashamed of?

How the characters react is going to largely depend on their personalities. The guy in the middle of this could have an epiphany that he’s not being treated well after a bad night out and call it quits. It’s just going to be a matter of what makes him realize that he deserves more. 

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