How I Accidentally Wrote a Love Triangle

It’s been two and a half years since my last blog post. Believe it or not, I plan to get back to writing here on a regular basis. You don’t have to believe it yet; I hardly believe it.

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a good time to post about my accidental love triangle. I’ve never talked about this in public before.

If you’ve read Girl of Flesh and Metal, you may have noticed that Lena, the main character, has two guys with romantic interest in her. I never intended to write a love triangle. As I do with most of my stories, I sent an almost-complete version of the book to beta readers to get their thoughts.

In that version, Lena breaks up with Jackson in chapter one, meets Hunter shortly thereafter, and never looks back. My plan for the trilogy was that Jackson would retain his interest in Lena and would become a growing source of conflict.

My beta readers hated Jackson.

I always take issue with movies where the main character and their significant other break up in the beginning, and they were terrible together. I wonder how they stayed together prior to the events of the movie. How were they ever attracted to that person who is an absolute horror and obviously wrong for them? Immediately, my suspension of disbelief is tested.

I didn’t want to write that story.

When I revised the book before publication, I changed virtually every word out of Jackson’s mouth. Lena still breaks up with him, and he’s still a cocky, arrogant jerk. But he’s a cocky arrogant jerk who loves Lena, knows her well, and wants what’s best for her. My goal was to make him a believable ex-love interest.

Unfortunately, I liked the new Jackson. Suddenly, Lena had two viable love interests.

Whenever someone mentions the love triangle in the Flesh and Metal trilogy, I cringe because it was an accident. That being said, throughout the trilogy, the two boys provide thematic contrast, and I love how that worked out.

I’m not telling you how it ends.

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