Advice From The Archives: Be Seduced by the Alpha Male

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today’s Advice from the Archives is from the 2010 New Voices competition and is sure to help you create the perfect Alpha Male! Enjoy! 

We editors like to consider ourselves highly trained experts on men – fictional men that is! We can (and do) spend hours debating the eternal Romance HQ editorial dilemmas:

  • Mr Big or Aidan?
  • McDreamy, McSteamy or the deliciously dysfunctional Alex Karev?
  • Is Colin Firth the tastiest Regency hero ever?
  • And, of course, the ultimate divide – Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Is there a better job on earth…?!

Whilst we might not be able to agree on these all-important questions, one thing is sure – the Alpha male reigns supreme at Romance HQ!

And we know we’re not the only fans. Despite popular misconceptions about the Alpha male – as an old-fashioned two-dimensional bully with no depth of character – he has always been integral to successful romantic fiction: from Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) through Mr Rochester (Jane Eyre) to Rupert Campbell-Black (Riders), he has been a much-loved archetype!

Why do women love a fictional Alpha male? Here’s what we think…

  • He’s the ultimate fantasy – an irresistibly attractive embodiment of heroic qualities and a celebration of positive male strength!
  • Some of the most exciting conflicts in a romance stem from ‘taming the beast’. The hero is stopped in his tracks by the heroine, and it is through her that he changes and develops.
  • He takes control and drives the story; he has the power to make things happen!
  • He is the key driver of the romance – he is the aspiration of the story’s heroine and the reader.

How do you create a successful Alpha male hero?

Your aim should be to ensure that the reader instantly falls in love with your hero – his charisma should ooze off the page and sweep the reader off her feet!  To achieve this, it is important that you are confident in his Alpha qualities – his passion, his attraction, his charm, his charisma, his ability to control his environment, his confidence – but also his honor and his integrity.

Here are some top tips to guarantee your Alpha hero is utterly irresistible…

  • Recognize that he is the ultimate nurturer and build his character around this trait. He acts for the welfare of others and he is the one who recognizes the heroine’s true goodness and worth.
  • Build a list of his strengths and show them throughout your story.
  • Know his weaknesses and have the heroine, and the storyline, challenge them – force him to change. Giving him recognizable human flaws will ensure your hero is emotionally convincing, not a 2-D caricature of a wannabe Alpha male poser!
  • Be clear about the heroine’s emotional and sexual needs; it is through her journey of fulfilment via the hero that the reader gains insight into his character.
  • An Alpha male should still be vulnerable – even if he’s too proud to admit it! We need to see that underneath the arrogance, charm or guarded heart, he’s capable of great emotional depth.
  • He’s allowed to be funny! Harlequin books are there to entertain, and some dry wit and wise-cracks from the hero can go a long way to helping us adore him!

Above all, remember that he is the man whom every woman wants.  If you are in love with your hero, then the reader will be too!

Happy writing! 🙂