ALPHA vs. BETA HEROES




After a comment from a reader--I do read them all--I decided to write an extra blog this week about heroes.  The wounded ones are sometimes difficult to deal with!  But I find writing about a man who can grow and change is so satisfying.

In FOREVER AFTER, my hero has a background that included a contentious childhood divorce.  His mother cared about appearances.  His father really wanted him.  Seth eventually found a way to live with his dad.  But the whole situation led him to become a lawyer, fighting for men's rights to father their children.  He doesn't have a high opinion of women...until he meets Darcy.

Is Seth likeable in the first half of the novel?  I don't have perspective on this.  As his creator, I saw the qualities of integrity and fairness I instilled in him from the first page.  The heroine who is unconventional--she is a garage mechanic--leads him on a journey not only to find himself again, but to find forgiveness.  By the last page I think the reader is convinced the that this is a man who will love for a lifetime...for forever after.

So my question to writers is--Is a wounded hero marketable?  And I'd like to ask my readers--Would you rather read about a wounded hero or one who just needs a nudge in the right direction to figure out how to love?

I don't think this is as much a question of alpha vs. beta as it is a question of how much a reader likes to see a hero change in the course of a book.

Discussion and comments are welcome.


© 2012 Karen Rose Smith

FOREVER AFTER by Karen Rose Smith

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4 comments:

Anne Ashby on April 5, 2012 at 5:34 AM said...

I've had responses from publishers saying my heroes aren't likable, and found this very frustrating. I want them to be strong and true to their ideals right from the start even if they might be contrary to "social" behaviour. A romance for me is all about how the character changes and adapts to new emotions. Whether they are alfa or beta is irrelevant to me

KRS on April 5, 2012 at 7:01 AM said...

Anne--Good point!

Alina Sayre on April 7, 2012 at 6:56 PM said...

I don't write romance, so I'm not sure if I'm credible on this point, but I think the best characters are the ones who are true to life. Human beings grow and change, and the best ones are the ones who overcome initial setbacks to gain strength and serve others.

KRS on April 7, 2012 at 7:59 PM said...

Alina--The trick in romance is to keep the characters true to life yet make them a little better than in real life! But I like to see them grow and change, too. Thanks for commenting.