Yes, I know, I’ve probably posted this before but I thought I’d do another one simply because I love a good hero. Always have, always will. I like a good heroine, don’t get me wrong, but baby bring on the hero because that’s what I read romance for.
Now apparently I do a good hero – according to the editors. And my last (sadly deceased) manuscript had a ‘perfect Modern Heat hero’, so I guess I must be doing something right with ’em. But it seems that creating a good, Modern Heat alpha male is a problem for a lot of people (let’s not go into my difficulties with heroines okay?). Kate Walker did a fabulous blog post about alpha males so I won’t go into that either but here’s a little bit about how I begin doing mine.
Dr Jax (my husband for those who don’t know and no, that’s not his actual name) reads all my manuscripts and he often tells me that I manage to get into a guy’s head really well – which is pretty much essential in creating a good hero. And that’s how I often start. I imagine myself as my hero – how would he feel? How would he think? Guys are not so different, their emotions are the same as ours and essentially they want the same things as we do. They’re human right? Okay, at least semi-human. 😉 Their key difference is in the way they express themselves and in some of the actions they take. For example, my heroes are used to taking charge of their own lives. They make decisions and take action, they don’t hang back and wait for someone else to do it for them. But they also find it difficult to talk about their emotions because guys generally aren’t very good at that kind of thing.
The other thing I find helps me with writing them is very basic – you have to write what you find sexy. If you don’t find alpha males at all sexy then creating a convincing alpha male hero is going to be very difficult. If you don’t love your hero then no one else will either. I like strong men. I like wounded, flawed men. I like men who take charge. I like intelligent men who have a sense of humour. I like arrogant, witty men. And most especially I like the confident, gorgeous guy who always has a come-back, who thinks he knows everything there is know, and yet who can be brought to his knees by the heroine. Mmmm, yum. Everything that I find sexy in a man goes into my hero. Now, other people may not find him as sexy as I do, but that’s okay, everyone’s version of sexy is different. But I think if you find writing an alpha male hard, you have to ask yourself why. Is it because you don’t actually like alpha males? Or is it because you just can’t get into his head?
If it’s the latter, close your eyes. You’re sitting in a bar. You’re not worried about how you look because your looks aren’t important to you. You’re not worried about your clothes either because clothes are just clothes and they looked fine when you put them on that morning. You’re not anxious about what to do if a woman approaches you because you always know what to say. In fact, there are more than a couple giving you the eye right now but you’re not interested in them, despite the fact that they’re gorgeous. No, because through the crowd you’ve spotted someone. A woman who is interesting to you in a way you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s irritating you because you can’t figure it out and you hate not being able to figure stuff out. Then again, you do love a challenge, a puzzle, figuring out how things tick. This woman is lovely but it’s not her beauty that draws you (beautiful women are a dime a dozen in your world), it’s the puzzle she represents that holds your interest. And you want to figure out that puzzle. But she’s surrounded by her girlfriends and they’ve already warded off quite a few approaches this evening. So what do you do?
What would Luke do? 🙂