3 Awesome Ways to Write a Great Hero - Sexy Alpha Males vs. Handsome Beta Males - #WriteTip

What Makes an Interesting Hero or Romantic Love Interest?

I always think of Darcy (alpha) and his best friend, Mr. Bingly (beta) as acomparison. These two fictional characters (heroes) created by Jane Austen are polar opposites, you could say. Darcy is arrogant and proud, but Bingly is more soft spoken and good-natured. 

(P.S. Enjoy all the sexy male eye-candy in this post!)

Profile of the Beta Male

Let's start with the Beta male. He is good looking, charming, affable, confident, strong, and a family guy. He is perceptive and more in touch with his feelings. A Beta male is also good in bed, but not promiscuous. He has a temper but is able to control it. He is the nice guy who has the patience to wait. 
To give you an idea (and some of you may disagree with me on this) he is the nice guy. He is Edward Cullen (Twilight), Xander (Buffy), Bingly (Pride and Prejudice) or Stiles (Teen Wolf).

These guys are good for female main characters that have been hurt or abused in the past. In any genre or sub-genre of romance, this balance is usually always present. The Beta male of modern society usually tends to be smart, quiet, softhearted, and un-confrontational. Unless pushed to extremes or his ladylove is in trouble, and then he shines.

The common characteristics associated with a Beta male include constantly seeking approval from other people, all of his actions and behaviors display a sensitive-side. The main Beta male characteristic is to look to others for guidance and self-respect. He's kind, responsible, decent, a regular Mr. Nice Guy. He's a people person and he'll always put the needs of others first.

A beta male is practical and sensible, so he'll contemplate what to do, and then get to work. He'll be extremely devoted to the woman he loves because he's responsible for the heroine. (Like Stefan Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries
Getting the woman he loves and himself out of a terrible situation will be his top priority. Everyone likes him. Even the villain thinks it’s a shame to have to get rid of such a nice guy. He's the sensitive, sweet guy any girl would fall in love with.

Just like all characters, your male protagonist, no matter how endearing, should have some very real flaws. It is what makes our characters seen more tangible for the reader. Otherwise, he won't be a good match for your strong heroine. As the writer, you’ll have to find ways to give him redeeming qualities to make him worthy of the heroine’s love. Intensely damaged heroines are often teamed with a patient beta hero.


Profile of the Alpha Male

The Alpha hero is gorgeous, intense, brooding, with a hint of danger, charming, and tough. Once he falls in love, he loves with his entire heart and soul. On the inside, he's generally been wounded by some tragic event in his past. He knows that he’s hot and he can easily lure woman into his bed. 
For example, Spike (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer), Sam or Dean Winchester (SUPERNATURAL), Eric or Alcide This is a featured page(True Blood) or Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries). 
 In modern society an Alpha male not only requires physical prowess, but also confidence and attitude. In summary, the Alpha male is one that has money, influence, respect, education, fame, love, and tons of charm.

The common characteristics associated with the Alpha male include confidence, brilliance, inner-strength, peace of mind, calm, strong belief in self, motivated, charming, proud, direct, somewhat cocky, and without doubt, a person with a game plan and the ability to see it through to success. 
There is nothing wrong or bad about being an Alpha male as long as these gifts are put to good use. 
Sadly, some Alpha males become entangled in things of the world, wasting the precious advantages they have.

Alpha males are the typical male characters in most romance novels. But that said, Beta males have in certain types of romance novels, become the romantic love interest. 

Something to Ponder...

Challenges in writing an Alpha male, as with a Beta male, is trying to achieve a balance. You don't want your Beta males to come off as too wimpy and you don't want your Alpha males to come off looking like a jerk. Tough, sassy heroines are often paired with a cocky alpha hero.

There’s no question that Alpha males are my preferred type of heroes, whether I’m writing or reading. And while I love the dark, rugged, seductive intensity of this compelling brand of hero, what really makes an Alpha grab my imagination, as well as my heart, is when there’s an aspect of his character that’s slightly damaged, even flawed.

In fact, it’s his vulnerabilities that often reveal an Alpha’s softer side, and for me, that’s one of the things that make them so intriguing. While their aggressive sexuality can drive us wild, it’s the unexpected, softer facets of their personality that can truly reach in and grab a reader’s heart.

As a writer, I enjoy the lack of restrictions and creativity that comes with writing paranormal stories and characters–which allows us to explore the darker realms of physical craving, while tempering that powerful, visceral hunger with the hero’s need to cherish and protect his woman. And although the heroes in all my stories are often complex, brooding, and impossibly arrogant, they each possess a softer, more emotional side that only the heroine is allowed to witness.
 Which type do you prefer as a love interest in the novels you read? 


Even if you've already published a few books or you're just starting out in the indie publishing world, there's always more to learn on the craft of fiction and book promotion. If you're determined to take your writing career seriously and make it to the next level, you need to make sure that your author branding and book packaging are "genre specific" to hit your target audience and build a loyal readership. 



1 comment

  1. Different definitions from the main thoughts of beta and alpha.


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