Writing Challenge: Alpha-Beta Soup

by Evan Yeong

I can’t believe it’s been almost a full month since my last Writing Challenge! You all deserve a huge apology, as I know that so many of you enjoy participating in these (and hopefully those who don’t are getting something out of reading them, since I know I sure do).

In searching for inspiration this week, I came across Katie Gowrie’s amazing post on how to write alpha heroines. The veteran Harlequin readers among us are all too familiar with the popular pairing of alpha hero and, what we’re calling for the purposes of this post, beta heroines-

For the uninitiated, on one side we have a strong, domineering man, an unquestionable bad-ass who may even verge on cruel (depending on the book). On the other is a woman who tends to be sweet, but also meeker, less experienced, and on the innocent side. The attraction is always mutual, but it’s also clear who thinks they’re in control (or who should be, anyway). It’s a tried and true formula, and it’s one I don’t want you to write about.

In your submission of 400 words or less I’m looking for you to create a pairing where it’s crystal clear which character embodies which personality. Do we have two bold, bullheaded people who are just as likely to use their mouths to argue than exchange passionate kisses? Do we have a fierce and fearless female who may have just met her match in a charming,  mild-mannered man?  To go beyond that, do we have a duo with two mismatched heroes, or even two mirrored heroines?

If you’re looking for more help here’s another post by Katie about writing beta heroes, and another from the archives on creating the perfect alpha hero.

All submissions are due at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday (July 26th). Each and every eligible entry (emphasis on eligible) will receive editorial feedback from one of our editors later on that week! This is yet another Challenge where you’re mostly limited by your imagination, so I can’t wait to see the range of scenes that come pouring in. It’s wonderful to be writing to you all again, and I hope you’re excited to be writing back!

UPDATE: It was absolutely incredible to come back and see 28 amazing submissions waiting for me! As with many of our past challenges, editorial feedback will be left for every one, and all of you should have received something by Wednesday (July 29th). 

I want to thank everyone who participated, and all those who didn’t but still took the time to leave their own lovely feedback! It’s wonderful to see all of you supporting one another and hope to see it continue.