I’m wondering how many readers have this problem. They read a story with a love triangle that grips them—excellent romance, sexual tension, and more than one potential partner—but the reader knows that someone is going to end up alone. How many times have we as readers been so in love with the two heroes that we want to just shout, “Pick both!” But we knew it wasn’t going to happen because it wasn’t the right genre?
I’ve had that happen a few times. With a lot of good series books out there that do have a hero or heroine torn between multiple love interests. I’m betting a lot of other people out there have, too.
This is something that’s been interesting to me for a while now, both as a writer and a reader, and something that I’ve recently accomplished after I finally handed in my very first M/M/M story as part of my Dragons and Wolves series. I’ve read a few M/M/M stories very sparingly over the years, and I’m pretty sure most, if not all of it, was fanfiction and nothing that was professionally published.
I wasn’t even thinking about ménage as I mapped out the story arc for my two characters. Not yet.
Other than that, I’ve barely touched the genre, but always wanted to do a story with that dynamic. Considering I knew little to nothing about it, I also wanted to do it some justice.
And by always wanted to do it, I really mean that I never actually intended on doing it. Weird, I know, but because I didn’t know anything about how that kind of relationship even worked, I thought it was best to stay away. Until I found myself falling into it by accident.
Also I’ve discovered that writing that many heroes in a story is pretty difficult. If I intend to do more, I’ll have to read some more so that I’m not so nervous about it the next time..
I wasn’t even thinking about ménage as I mapped out the story arc for my two characters. Not yet. My plan for this particular couple I had in mind was brilliant. I was going to set up my two heroes in a story that would expand across several books so that by the time I finally got to them, readers would be drooling for them.
Then I killed one of the heroes.
It was pretty tragic stuff, let me assure you. Try writing a death scene with Barcelona’s “Please Don’t Go” playing in the background and you might find yourself tearing up.
So what happened after that? Well, the surviving hero went on a quest for vengeance, of course. Someone had killed the love of his life, the man I’d made him work for several books to get, and he wanted blood. He was also grieving. He was going to be totally destroyed over it, and he very nearly was. I had to give him someone who would pull him back, make sure he didn’t take his grief too far and didn’t get hurt in his quest because he didn’t stop to think.
When I realized I could do it, I knew I had something and that I was going to roll with it. I was going to write an M/M/M even though I’d never written one before.
Enter hero number three, a guy who had been in love with our surviving hero for a long time, who would have his back, keep him safe, sane, and healthy, and a guy I really started to like in a short period of time. In fact, the second I realized he was coming in, I knew this was going to be a three-way relationship because I loved the murdered hero too damn much to keep him dead.
In fact, I was so impatient to bring him back that he came back to life in the same book that I’d killed him in.
I already couldn’t choose who my main hero should be with, so I’d given him both. I was going to give him both because I couldn’t pull together the guts to decide who he should be with. Ultimately, I knew both were great for him, but I had always read romance where only two heroes, or a hero and a heroine were involved. I was trained not to think of simply having a relationship with all three.
When I realized I could do it, I knew I had something and that I was going to roll with it. I was going to write an M/M/M even though I’d never written one before. I got just the tiniest bit worried.
My main quest now would be to figure out how to get all three of them together without making it look forced or cheesy. After all, there were going to be a lot of conflicting emotions here. The main hero had let himself fall for someone else, and now his mate was back to life. What was he going to do? And how would the other two men react?
It was too much good emotional conflict to pass up. I had to use it, and it made me fall in love with hero number three even more, considering the maturity he used in the beginning.
The only thing I can hope for is that I did the story justice while giving readers of this genre what they expect and hope for. I guess the way it’s received by the public will determine whether or not I’m brave enough to ever write more, but now that my curiosity has been woken up, I can definitely see that happening.
Now I’ll have to start reading more M/M/M stories, and going out on the hunt for all ones that are reader recommended. I’ll have to know what I’m getting into here before I keep going.
I also want to know if other writers of the genre, who have written more than one or two books, found themselves getting interested in it for the reasons I listed above, or if it was for something else entirely. I would also love to know what drives readers to go for these stories. Was it the reasons above? You found yourself being torn between two heroes in a series, and then insanely disappointed when only one was picked? Or worse, the one you didn’t want?
Story suggestions are more than welcome, as are comments about how many people here read M/M/M and why. I’d also love to know what your favorite ménage stories are and why so I can go and read them. Remember that I’m new to this, so the more help I can get, the better.
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