Friday, January 28, 2011

The Alpha versus the Beta

A long time ago, well perhaps not so long ago, I could only write the quintessential Alpha hero. I'd heard about the mythical Beta hero, read about his sweet, charming ways. Read the debates about which is better, the good boy you'd take home to Momma, or the bad buy you hoped your Daddy never met. I never thought the day would come when a Beta wiggled his sweet butt into my muses grace...

I like the bad boys and their wicked, wonderful ways. They're fun to write, they give you those yummy flutters in your belly. You can experience the danger of their wild sides without ever leaving the comfort of your couch. And a heroine responds to a man who knows how to take charge. Either with rebellion, a little command of her own, or with a submissive streak she can't help but discover. Delicious!

So, it was a bit of a shock, when I found myself saddled with a Beta hero. Really Miss Muse? Was this some kind of sick joke she decided to play on my ever struggling writing ventures? To give me a... well there is just no delicate way to put this... a ball-less man. I was not pleased, and in fact, once I realized just what I had on my hands, I balked. Me write a Beta? Absurd! Absolutely not! I stuck my nose in the air, crossed my arms and refused.

However, we know the muse does what she wants, whether we agree or not, and she kindly pointed out my oh-so-manly Alpha's couldn't handle the stresses and humiliation I was throwing at my poor hero. They wouldn't stick around. And of course *sigh* she was right. To have my comedy, I needed a hero who could suffer through being degraded, even frightened of the unknown, all for the sake of my heroine, who desperately needs him. Such is love, who am I to argue?

Beta's it seems, have their need and their place in romance too. Believe it or not, he's a man, one who has passion and can ignite desire (well thank goodness there). He's not so scary, or so awful to write after all. Once I took the time to get to know him, and discover how he not only benefited my story, but my heroine as well, I welcomed him into my creative space. He grew on me! And while, granted, I won't be visiting a Beta again for hopefully a long while, I do enjoy him now that he's around. He's sweet, kind-hearted, and will do anything for my heroine, despite what it may cost his ego. How can you say "no" to such a man?

So, as I write my Beta male, I push back the urge to write my stronger, dominant hero from my other novel, knowing I have something sexy and dangerous waiting for me when I finish. Sort of like a dessert after the main course. A very long, hard earned dessert *wink*.

Which do you prefer to write? Beta or Alpha? And which do you prefer to read?



  1. I've only written 1 Beta, Thorn in Inventing the Abbotts. He was hard for me. Alpha is my choice and always will be.

  2. Yes, my beta has been super hard for me too. I keep banging my head on the desk. I like a REAL man, LOL! But, he's had his uses, so I'll keep him around. I hope though, he's my only one...

  3. Bring on Erik!!!! Keep your wussy away from me and keep your muse as well. I don't need to catch Betastrep.

  4. LOL, Bri! Yeah, my hero, Alek, from Written in Blood was sooo hot and sooo Alpha. And the hero in the sequel, Layne, is equally delicious and just as broken (woohoo!). My hero now... oh dear. Well, I needed a man who could handle stress and being degraded and NOT pull a gun or 'accidentally' run someone over with his car. Enter, the Beta. *grin*