Friday, January 19, 2007

Alpha, Beta or Gamma?

MENTAL STATUS: More "blah" stuff. Sore throat is back and slight headache. This thing I have won't go away.

Well, first things first. We’ll talk about my daughter and then we’ll talk about writing...

My daughter (who’s 4) is adorable, if I must say so myself.

Example: She climbed into bed and woke me up two mornings ago by kissing me and saying (with all the seriousness of a four-year old mind), “Mommy, when I was a baby, I didn’t know I had the best mommy in the world.” My response was to laugh (because she's always saying things I least expect) and also to get tears in my eyes. She’s such a sweetie.

Check out her nails (above) from when we went to the nail salon last week. She has little flowers on her thumbs with jewels in the center. And yes. She IS spoiled.
Now for the writing talk:

I mentioned I was taking an online class entitled: “Can this Manuscript Be Saved?” We’re now at the characterization part. This is a section particularly helpful if you’ve ever had a rejection saying they hated your main character or characters. (Not helpful for me, personally, but very interesting.)

The discussion grew to "beta and alpha" heroes and their actions/reactions. Well, the author, Susan Meier, admitted she uses distinctions between the two in workshops but that when she writes she doesn’t write alpha or beta—usually a combo or maybe she starts out one way and the character evolves to another.

So I thought, “YES! Hey, me too!"

Which is funny, because I once had a critique partner say she was “worried about my alpha hero because he waffled beta”. Of course, my first thought when I’d received the critique was, “My hero’s an alpha?”

I don’t start off pigeon-holing my hero. I like to experiment, probably because I write more light-hearted stories and I think it’s funny when a tough guy finds his soft spot because of that special woman and does things "out of character". But, hey, maybe that's just me.

What kind of heroes do you usually write?


Chicki said...

When I watch movies or read books, I go for the alpha hero all the way, but when I write my heros tend to be combinations. Even though the macho guys are exciting, all that testosterone can work your last nerve sometimes! My heroes must have a little gentleness.

Erin said...

My heroes are alphas with heart. They are tough and rough but also have deep feelings.

Elle Fredrix said...

I'm with you. I hate sweeping generalities.

I agree that a hero can have alpha/beta tendancies, but to say a person is one or the other isn't even human. We're all to individual for that, and yet some try to cram their characters into these tight little boxes.

Elle Fredrix said...

I just added a link to your blog on mine. Let me know if you mind!

Glynis said...

I have a heroine, my male characters are not what they seem and not particularly nice to know. Not sure about the alpha/beta sides of them all.