I was thinking about alpha heroes again. And what I was thinking was what a broad thing that really is. Presents get a rep for being one note, or for having heroes that are all a certain way, but that’s not true. Yes, they are billionaires, powerful men, but that’s part of the promise of the line.
They are also all alpha males, but that can be expressed in so many different ways. Just looking at a couple of my heroes (I always feel weird using me as an example because…dear heaven I’m not The Authority or anything…I’m just musing.) you can see the different ways that alpha is expressed by different men.
My hero Maximo from An Accidental Birthright/Mistake, A Prince and A Pregnancy believes in doing what’s right. What he thinks is right at least. And he works at persuading the heroine that getting married is the right thing for them. And while he’s dogged in his attempts to convince her, he’s not forceful. He appeals to her logic, because in his mind, he’s right and that’s all it will take. (Because can’t any intelligent person see that he’s right??)
Then I have Adham al bin Sudar (pictured…heh). Now, he’s a sheikh and he’s driven 100% by honor. And if he has to pick the heroine, Isabella, up and carry her out of the hotel to bring her to her destination safely, he’ll do it. Because he will fulfill his duty no matter what. Adham has the dangerous edge, he’s the action man. He takes his honor, his destiny, very seriously.
And there’s Gage…Gage Forrester. American, Californian businessman with a protective streak that basically dominates his life. He raised his much younger sister and that gives him a kind of paternal set of priorities. He’ll do anything to protect her. He’s also laid back but driven, funny and giving, but demanding when it comes to business. He plays hard and works hard and, has (according to him) locked his little black book in a safe so no one can find it and use it for evil.
They are three very different men who have that leadership quality, that drive for ultimate success, at their core, and yet they express it differently. Because it’s NOT as simple as plugging the Alpha Male characteristics in your Alpha Smart Hero Creator (Partly because that’s not what an alphasmart is, but it’s what it sounds like it is to me). Because your hero still has to be a man. A real man, with his own background and thoughts and even fears. Reasons for what he will and won’t do, and a reason why he chooses to express himself in the way he does.
He has to be a whole person, not just a two dimensional rendering.
I’m going to recycle a quote I’ve used before, because it’s totally worth it:
The true Alpha male is not a bully or a brute. He is the guy who is first to lead the charge for a worthy cause. He is supremely equipped, physically and mentally, to fight for success in the ultra-competitive world we inhabit.
The true Alpha male embodies the best characteristics of the male of our species, namely rugged outer qualities such as muscularity, strength and power, but also inner qualities such as confidence (without conceit), courage (without recklessness), commitment and a conscience.
The true Alpha male has the combination of physical and mental toughness but also a concern for other humans as a whole.
A true Alpha male meets the ideal of contemporary masculine excellence. In other words, the true Alpha male has all the core qualities of a hero.
So that’s a little more on being Alpha Smart. 😉