Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Writing Wednesday: About those Alpha Males ...(part 1)
A for alpha.
Alpha males are a staple in literature as well as movies, and as a writer you should take some time to master this stereotype (pun intended.) There's a difference in writing a strong alpha male who might also have hidden vulnerabilities, as opposed to one who is simply a domineering jerk.
When reading any genre of novel, we want our heroes to be strong and stand up for what they believe, but we also want to connect with characters on a deeper level. Even an alpha male needs something to make him vulnerable, and thus human. He can't just flex his muscles and order women around. And in a romance, he needs to give as good as he gets.
This came into stark contrast for me recently with two very different novels that I read back to back.
The first was the fabulous chic lit romp Lingerie Wars, by Janet Elizabeth Hendersen (highly recommend for a light read that's lots of fun.)
In contrast, that same week I also read Mermen, the first book in a trilogy by Mimi Jean Pamfilof, a New York Times Bestselling author.
What's my point? Mostly that the designation of "alpha" doesn't necessarily equate with being a selfish dickhead. Alpha males more than eye candy on the cover. Written well, their characters can be sexy, hot and (most of all) interesting heroes, if only given the proper emotional abilities.
Okay, whew. There's only so much testosterone I can talk about in one post. And these are just general observations, as I'm sure you've noticed (and are griping about!) Next time, I'll be more specific with my alpha-do and alpha-don't recommendations and examples.Maybe pictures. We'll see.