Thursday, April 23, 2015

Alpha males

Alpha males are the only heroes I write in my stories. As a writer, they're fun to write. As a reader, they're fun to read. Why do we love them so much?

First, let's define what an alpha male is: tall, dark, strong, protective, a teensy bit jealous, physically capable, and attractive in a rough around the edges sort of way. There's also a vulnerable side to him he's kept hidden from the world until he meets that special girl...

I'm not going to discuss the psychology of the alpha male or why we females are biologically attracted to them. I'm going to discuss it from a writer's point of view.

Alpha males, like I said, are my only type of hero. My job as a writer is to ensure my hero doesn't turn into a cliche or sound exactly like my other hero in story b.

The other issue I have to worry about that gets swept under the rug: I need to worry about the line that comes with the alpha male territory - the one that divides healthy and unhealthy relationship.

There's a difference between dominating and controlling.
There's a difference between rough and abusive.
There's a difference between being blunt and being mean.

And a lot of times, these differences get swept under the rug. There needs to be a distinction between being an alpha and being abusive, and it's my job to make that clear.

Noir from my Dark Paradise trilogy is clearly abusive, and Keirah knows it. There's really know masking it. He doesn't say sorry or justify his actions. With him, it's black and white.

There are alphas in literature and movies that walk that line, and some even cross it. The issue is, are these men being regarded as sex symbols, as romantic symbols? If so, I have an issue with that. I don't want my readers to look at Noir and see a man worth falling in love with or a relationship to aspire to. His relationship with Keirah is completely unhealthy.

I want people to look up to Jack or Ollo. Those are the alpha I wouldn't mind being dominated by. 😉 

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