Story Starter Trope Twist: Love Triangle (Part II)

It’s another riveting edition of Trope Twist! The show (I mean blog post) where we take ordinary, over-used YA tropes and put a little twist on them. Like adding a tart slice of lemon to a boring glass of water. 

Part II of this ongoing series focuses on the Love Triangle. If you missed Part I, it was a hoot (and played with the always-fun “Chosen One” trope). 

Today we have Karole Cozzo, Chani Lynn Feener, and L.E. DeLano applying their unique voices to the Love Triangle. They have 150 words to uniquely pin down the moment when the crux of the triangle must choose between her two love interests. Are you ready for the heartache, the indecision, and the sizzle? Then check out how they twisted the Love Triangle trope below.

Flavors by Karole Cozzo

For Pete’s sake, just pick one!” 

I can still hear my mom’s voice, tight with impatience. But ultimately, she’d sigh in defeat, placing both fists behind her back, allowing me to choose one, the option within. Blue or red ice pop after swimming. Unicorn or rainbow sticker at the doctor. Sketchers or Nikes for fall. 

She’d open her fists, and I’d always know what I wanted, for sure, a split second after the decision was made. Even if I’d felt hopelessly undecided, in that moment of reveal my instincts would kick in, screaming either in joy or protest. 

I never thought it would happen that way with… people. 

Tre is beaming, triumphant, because I’ve just told him I’d made up my mind. I press my mouth against his to prove it. 

But in the instant our lips touch, my instincts kick in, begging for Jackson. 

The boy I didn’t choose. 

Just Lunch by Chani Lynn Feener

Grace didn’t know whether to go with her gut or not. 

Theo was watching her from across the room, gaze periodically slipping her way in between words with the rest of the small council. 

“Hey.” Iain shifted closer, flashing her a smile that could convince anyone to go along with anything. “Did you hear me? Lunch, I’m buying. You in, or what?” 

They’d been doing this dance for a while now, and it always ended with her pushing him away. Her eyes trailed over to Theo one last time, but he was frowning now at one of the council members, completely engaged in what the other man was saying. As per usual, despite all his talk, council responsibilities were coming before her. 

“Sure,” she said, just as surprised as Iain looked by her response. 

“It’s about time.” He held out his hand and waited, grinning when she took it. 

Close Call by L.E. DeLano

“You’re okay,” Micah says, rocking me back and forth, so tightly I can barely pull in air. 

“I’m okay,” I gasp, saying it to myself as much as I am to him. 

“When I saw the ship explode...” He bites his lip to keep from finishing that sentence. “Are you hurt?” 

“I—I don’t think so.” 

“How’d you get out of there?” he asks as I scramble to my feet. I scan the area, shading my eyes so I can see better. The relief washes over me like a tidal wave at the sight of Matt, limping down the beach toward me. 

“That’s how,” I say. 

Micah sighs as his eyes follow mine. “Thought I had your back.” 

I make myself face him, and I know I can’t hug this away. It would only make it worse. 

“I’m sorry,” I tell him. 

And I begin to run.

Now it's your turn! How would you interpret the "Love Triangle" trope in 150 words or less?

About the author - Temple West

Temple West, debut author of the YA paranormal romance Velvet, is as nerdy in real life as she is on ...

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7 comments on "Story Starter Trope Twist: Love Triangle (Part II)"

J. E. Warren on Oct. 16, 2017, 2:43 p.m. said:

J. E. Warren

I'll give it a go...!

"She's like, so pretty though," Sam says, sighing out so hard he blows away the strand of dark hair falling forward from a quiff I've come to admire during our many lunch break hangouts.

I look towards Polly sat on the end of a bench. Her shiny blonde hair falls forwards in a way that demands admiration too. And attention. Which she gets in buckets from Sam who sounds and looks lovesick every time she comes around.

"You okay Lily?" He asks, fleeting.

I nod, and my stomach twists as she turns her head and our eyes meet. Hers are piercing blue. Sam lets out another loud sigh and I really wish he wouldn't. Because it does nothing to rid us of the big elephant in the room: that we're in love with the same girl, one of us secretly so.

"She's really pretty," I say back, meaning every word.


So... I kind of wanted to put a twist on the trope of a girl liking a guy who likes another girl, in that she likes her too ;)

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Mackenzie Rose on Oct. 15, 2017, 7:30 p.m. said:

Mackenzie Rose

This is the *amazing* parody I came up with. Its cringiness is intentional. ;)

I knew I'd have to choose between Kit Baxter and Axel Blade eventually. I just never thought it would be this way.
"I'm sorry," I said, "but I don't have enough time to save both of you. I'll pick one. The other...will plunge off the cliff into certain death, I guess."
I've never really had a way with words.
"Pick me," Axel said, his coal-black pompadour still somehow unrumpled, despite the recent battle that had climaxed in him and Kit hanging off a cliff above a pool of molten lava. I'm not entirely sure how that happened, either.
"Pick who you love," Kit said softly. "It doesn't matter to me."
"Quit being so darn selfless, Kit," I chided. "You're hanging off a gosh-darn cliff!"
"Yeah, Kit. Get with the program, man."
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I knew I had to go with my heart. The problem was, my heart didn't know which boy to choose.
Should I choose Axel, handsome, dangerous, and oh so mysterious? He had come to my high school as a transfer student late in the year, and made a point of ignoring me and being a jerk in a way that made my heart flutter.
Or should I go with Kit, my best friend for years? It was he who had saved me, performing CPR after I passed out from a breath I didn't know I was holding. He was kind and sweet, and always hung out with me, when he could be with whoever he wanted.
I reached out, my eyes still closed, and hoisted my dream boy up from the cliff in an uncharacteristic act of strength. I opened my arms and embraced Kit. Kit, who always stuck up for me. Kit, with his adorable lack of personality and originality. Kit, my love.
"In the time you took deciding, you could have saved both Kit and I," Axel said dryly.
"You're just jealous." I took Kit's hand and led him away from the pit, away from Axel and all of my mistakes that had led us here. I kissed him, and it was a kiss so passionate and--
I turned my head and saw Circe Obscurité, my sworn nemesis, the one who had caused this evil. Circe scowled as her eyes flicked between Kit and I.
"What are you doing with my boyfriend?"

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Vivyan Lynne on Oct. 13, 2017, 8:06 p.m. said:

Vivyan Lynne

Here's my feminist ace/aro twist on a love triangle:

"I love you," he says as Gee walks in. Gee glares, walking right over to me and Chris.

Gee grabs Chris by the shoulder, pulling him away from me. His voice is taught as he says, “You do not, you’re only saying that.”

“I love her more than you ever will,” Chris’ voice is a low growl.

I sit back, watching them argue for five minutes, it’s cute how they both care so much and assume I do too. “Gentlemen.” They stop, turning to look at me. I stand up, walking over to them. I have to reach up to rest a hand on each of their cheeks. I smile. “Thank you, both of you. I care for you both very much. But I don’t love you. I don’t need your love, I’m pursuing my own dreams. Goodbye.”

I walk away, their gaze following me as I leave. I smile.

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Catherine Tinker on Oct. 13, 2017, 4:42 p.m. said:

Catherine Tinker

Here we go:
He’d slipped into his usual seat across from me and I stiffened on reflex.
He had no way of knowing for sure that I had seen his tumblr post yesterday. It wasn’t like he had made any effort to keep his feelings a secret anymore.
Every time a Radiohead song started on the bus ride this morning I skipped it, thanks to him. Now to survive today’s review group.
“Uh, Bev,” he said tentatively, “what’s the triangle where only two sides are equal?”
“Isosceles,” I said methodically.
“Uh, right,” he muttered and looked back down at his paper.
I stole a glance across the room. Quinn met my eye and smiled.
My only hope was that Max hadn’t seen me blushing at the thought of discussing Austen with Quinn next period.
He hadn’t tried to freak me out, but if he was allowed his feelings, so was I.
Two sides.

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Books And Tea Are All You Need on Oct. 13, 2017, 5:29 p.m. said:

Books And Tea Are All You Need

Not bad! I'm most definitely intrigued...

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Books And Tea Are All You Need on Oct. 13, 2017, 12:50 p.m. said:

Books And Tea Are All You Need

This was actually super inspiring! I didn't think that much would come out of it, but my brain thought up not one, but two story ideas! Here is the other one.


Reid looks at me. It's one of his looks, his seaglass-green eyes threatening to spill over into liquid. And he takes my right hand.

"I'm so glad you finally got Zachary off your back," he says.

Reid. Reid, who attacks me with bits of muffin, and carefully extricates the stray crumbs that land in my eye. He isn't afraid to age backwards and act completely goofy. He's one of the best snowboarders I've ever seen in my life. Taking his hand should live up to its name. It should feel right.

But it doesn't.

"Me, too," I respond. "And I'm about to feel glad to get you off my back."

I yank my hand away from his, and run. If I ran this fast all the time, I'd actually win a cross-country meet.

I find Blake sitting on the sidewalk, looking up at me.

Blake, who beats me, without fail, at every early-morning practice session. The person whose kiss, from what I remember, tastes like buttered popcorn, the kind made for a post-running movie marathon. Blake, who has fallen by the wayside, my now-faster sneakered feet covering her in dust.

But not completely.

I take her right hand. I kiss her. That kiss says, I didn't forget you. It says, this feels right.

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Books And Tea Are All You Need on Oct. 13, 2017, 12:29 p.m. said:

Books And Tea Are All You Need

"I.. I..."

"What are you saying?" I harrumph in earnest. Patience is a virtue... that I do not possess.

"I... I'm falling in love with you."

My brain sinks down to my hand, telling it to cover my mouth. Falling... in love... with me? All of my prior thoughts evaporate, leaving a black void to be filled with new thoughts. But it stays a black hole, sucking all of my thoughts into it.

Today, he told me he was in love with me. Yesterday, Bret told me he was in love with me. A month ago...


"Not this again," he says.

"Ugh!" I burst out screaming. "What is with all these boys telling me they love me? It's so stupid. This whole situation with you and Bret... it's so stupid."

"It's really not. Just pick one."

"Yes, it is. This would never happen in real life."

"Well, good thing we're living in a short story."

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