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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How Do You Define a Hero?

So who doesn't love a hunky, take charge guy in a romance novel? Well, it turns out ... I don't. Well, I mean I thought I did, but then writers and readers started talking about the alpha heroes they love and it occurred to me, that's not really who I write.

I thought all my guys were alpha heroes. Not that they steamroll over the heroine or completely wall off their emotions, but they do step up to the plate when the time comes. The problem was they didn't seem to have that pushy, never-give-an-inch attitude many people associate with alphas. But they definitely didn't fit into the wimpy sidekick beta hero either.

Okay, I know technically (especially in stories with shifters) there is only one alpha leader. Therefore if you write a story about the other guys, like I do, they would be considered beta. But I just can't go there. In my opinion, the beta hero is a pushover. He wouldn't come to the heroine's rescue. He'd send in his best friend, the alpha, who would save her. He'd be the one to comfort her when the hero's been a jerk, but then turn her over to him when the guy showed up at the front door. But no one writes characters like that. I'm always looking to write the next story so even my "best friend" characters offer more than a supporting role.

So maybe I have the definition all wrong.

In my confusion I checked out THIS POST by Suzanne Brockman who writes all things alpha. But I still didn't get a good feel for this alpha hero. But I found this OTHER POST at The Road to Romance. But this post describes not alpha, not beta, but a gamma hero? Wai...whaaaat?

Yeah, the GAMMA hero pulls the best from both the alpha and the beta heroes. He's a man with all the chutzpah of an alpha but the emotions of a beta. In other words ... the strong male who doesn't run roughshod over the heroine in his quest to bring down the bad guy, but works with her to find the key and discover the lost treasure or slay the dragon or free her world or ... well, you get my drift. This is the guy of romance stories in my opinion. The hero who could don the pages of any GQ magazine, but knows how to BBQ a mean steak for his lady and draw her a bubble bath. *sigh* Yeah, that's the ticket.

So I guess I'm aiming to write gamma heroes. Who knew?

The reality is. It doesn't matter what we call them. It's their heart and soul that draws us into the story over and over again. We need to connect to the hero. Believe he's real. Believe he's the only one for the heroine. Believe in their love story.

What about you? Do you like your guys all alpha in stories and keep your betas for real life or are you a combo kind of gal like me ... enjoying a gamma between the pages?

My recent romantic suspense series, “Tilling Passions” has three very handsome gamma heroes who know how to take care of their women! BLIND HER WITH BLISS, DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE and CHEAT HER WITH CHARM are all available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

16 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

I'm a gamma girl all the way! :)

Paris said...

I'm with you, Nina. I often combine both traits and end up with a hybrid:)

Adele Dubois said...

Great post, as usual, Nina. I'm with you--I've never been attracted to the overly agressive, bossy types. I like strong heroes who consider their heroines partners. If he can barbeque--so much the better! ")

Best of luck with your series.

~Adele

VICKI BATMAN, said...

Who knew? And now I know the geeks I write are Gammas!

Mary Corrales said...

I'd have to say that I'm a combo kind of woman. Strong yet considerate is the best kind of man.

jean hart stewart said...

Now I've got a new definition of what I've alwasy liked, a gamma. Definitely he's what I write too. I don't even mind a tear in his eye once in a while....

Tina Donahue said...

I like a strong guy - not a jerk. Someone who knows what he wants (the woman!) and pursues her. However, he's also respectful, not entitled.

Nina Pierce said...

Amber - There's nothing like a guy who's got a nice balance of "take charge" and "it's all about you"!

Nina Pierce said...

Paris - It's just a great balance for my men!

Nina Pierce said...

Adele - Some writers can do the alpha hero really well. I end up making them come out to be jerks. (And that is soooo bad in a romance. *g*) I like the guy who wants a partner in a relationship.

Nina Pierce said...

Vicki - A gamma geek ... sounds pretty sexy to me!

Nina Pierce said...

Mary - Considerate ... love that! Yep, that's the kind of guy I enjoy reading and writing as well.

Nina Pierce said...

Jean - Oh, a man who's willing to show his emotions and shed a tear or two ... yeah, definitely my kind of hero!

Nina Pierce said...

Tina - I think you write the most awesome alpha heroes. Sexy, strong, decisive and still completely in love with the heroine. One of these days I'm going to find a hero like that in one of my stories.

Marie Rose Dufour said...

I love a tough guy who is totally gaga over the love of his wife. Sigh...

Nina Pierce said...

Marie - Describing anyone in particular? ;)

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