Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Mystique of Men

As writers of romance we're constantly trying to breath life into our characters - both men and women. As a woman I find writing believable men much more difficult. No shock for anyone I'm sure :-) While I love men (and my DH in particular) watching and studying another "species" isn't the same as living in their skin. Until there really is something that can switch personalities and bodies a la Freaky Friday I'm going to have to content myself with good observation skills and well thought out questions.

Writing men that women can fall in love with is difficult. We each love different things about the men in our lives and look for different things in a good mate. It's difficult to find that balance between a guy we feel could be a good man to have at home and an alpha that can dominate us - just a little - and protect us when we need/want it.

So help me out here - who are your favorite heros and why? What made you fall in love with them?



Smarty Pants said...

Well, I'm not a big fan of the alpha hero (I'm even worse at writing them) but I like it when the hero has a vulnerability - be him alpha or otherwise. Of course, its important that he also be a good person, attractive inside and out, funny, and really love the heroine, even if he has a funny way of showing it.

My favorites - Jamie Frasier is always near the top of the list. There are so many, I'm drawing a blank...I recently read Linda Winstead Jones' Shades of Midnight (her RITA winner) and the hero of the story Lucien was completely clueless. His head was buried in his work and he seemed to float around, oblivious to everything, including the heroine. He made the heroine crazy, but you still loved him. (I'm kinda like him, too, so of course I had to like him.) :)


Angel said...

I recently read "A Hunger Like No Other" by Kresley Cole (Loved it!), and the hero there is very alpha with vulnerabilities. Of course, he's a werewolf (Lykae) which naturally leads to an alpha hero. He's almost overwhelmingly aggressive in the beginning, but it is well supported by the circumstances he finds himself in. As the story goes on and he connects emotionally with the heroine, he softens towards her while still retaining his alphaness. (Which means sometimes he just doesn't understand her or makes mistakes with her. Sound familiar?) But his love for her also becomes a vulnerability.

I think this is a great example of how to do an alpha male!

Personally, my heroes lean more toward alpha than beta, but not knuckle dragging. I watch and try to understand why men do things they do, not just the big things but everything. And my husband and I talk about it sometimes too. I'll ask him questions and he'll try to answer as best he can. That helps a lot (though he's far from alpha).


Playground Monitor said...

I love Joe Morelli and Ranger in the Janet Evanovich series. Why? You had to ask, didn't you?

Joe seems like an average guy but with a wicked streak a mile wide. After all, he played choo-choo with Stephanie at an early age. Ranger, on the other hand, is dark and mysterious. They both care about Stephanie but in different ways.

Sam in MR. PERFECT was an alpha cop but a smart-a$$ alpha cop. He was also a charmer. One minute he's parading around his kitchen au naturale, knowing that Jaine is looking and the next he's fighting the bad guys. I liked Cahill in DYING TO PLEASE too. There's just something about a guy who does strip wrestling.

Rhonda writes great guys. Maybe we need to pick her brain. :grin: Think we could tempt her with chocolate?

You'd think after living in a house full of men for the last umpteen years I'd understand them more. Nope.


Rhonda said...

Thank you, PM! That compliment should get me through a few more pages today. :-) Now...

I like beta's with alpha tendencies, which is what I tend to write. And they are always a bit clueless--because let's face it, most men are. :-) But when push comes to shove, I think a woman just wants a guy who's A.) going to fight for her and B.) is his single weakness.

Problem Child said...

I, too, like beta males--with a little alpha if needed. Really alpha heros often come across as jerks, and it's very hard for me to fall in love with a jerk--even a fictional one.

Personally, I like geeks...