Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,507 Posts
It's bothering me that she makes no distinction between alpha hero and alphahole. For me, the appeal of the alpha (alpha caretaker) is his ability to get shit done and his general stoicism-- you want to tear down his defenses. He will take care of you even when you protest (often in that high school why do you believe me when I say nothing is wrong way). He does not expect you to mommy him. My understanding is that an alphahole is an @sshole alpha. So they are not necessarily on a contimum.

Otherwise, a very nice article.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
That was fun. Thanks. Yeah, I appreciated the hearts and flowers line. I read a post by Nora Roberts on the differences between how romance by women and romance by men is marketed. I forget how she put it, but she made a good point about how a bestselling male author can write a love story and not get stuck with a crap cover.

I like that she used so many specific examples and stationed this hero type within the history of the wounded hero subset.

Amusing insight: "Cutting out your own heart and sending it to the object of your affection is very dramatic and makes average romance reader go “awww” because average romance reader is surprisingly bloodthirsty."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,920 Posts
Bat Hughes said:
That was fun. Thanks. Yeah, I appreciated the hearts and flowers line. I read a post by Nora Roberts on the differences between how romance by women and romance by men is marketed. I forget how she put it, but she made a good point about how a bestselling male author can write a love story and not get stuck with a crap cover.

I like that she used so many specific examples and stationed this hero type within the history of the wounded hero subset.

Amusing insight: "Cutting out your own heart and sending it to the object of your affection is very dramatic and makes average romance reader go "awww" because average romance reader is surprisingly bloodthirsty."
Lothaire. LOVED that book :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,257 Posts
That is a very thoughtful post. For me Alpha hero is different than alphole. I think her chart shows that a bit. I love alpha's, I can't stand most alpholes. So many new romances seem to have alpholes and often in combination with whiney doormat heroines.

And another thing is the section about the grovel. It is often severely lacking. That'd be a good read-up for anyone wanting to dip into writing romance I think. Grovel, never forget the grovel. For a HEA/HFN to be believable, for a romance to be believable, I have to have a proper grovel. Its that emotional roller coaster we love to ride along. All the feelz. That moment where the hero realizes, what have I done and I can actually feel his pain and his realization that the heroine hung the moon, sigh. Its one of my favorites when it happens to some rakes in historical romances especially. When we the reader know he's fallen in love, long before he realizes it. And you just know he'll cause pain to her and him and then has to come to grips with the fallout and grovel. Grovel grovel grovel.  ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,767 Posts
The Byronic hero, the alpha male and the alphahole are all three not the same things. There's minor overlap, but to equate them is doing the debate disservice. She mixes things up quite a bit.

In general, I'd have preferred a more differentiated and critical look at what is currently happening in romance and erotica in this respect. For instance, I missed a closer inspection of the religious, Mormon background of Twilight and its fan fiction derivatives which play into current alphahole tropes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,678 Posts
Great piece! I noticed it through Courtney Milan tweeting it, as well.

But I've got a question about the "grovel." I've written quite a few romances, but I never really understood this term as it is applied to a romantic/love relationship. The word itself brings (to me at least) a really unpleasant image. So I'm asking, when using the word "grovel" are we really talking about the, uh, declaration of love made by the hero--with maybe an I'm sorry mixed in there if it's required?

I remember reading the HR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood books and one of the things that stood out to me was that within each of the stories the big bad vampire heroes made a strong statement of their love for the heroine--and they were quite beautifully worded, almost poetic. I don't remember groveling. Did I miss it? Maybe someone could recommend a book where a truly spectacular "grovel" is in play.  :-\
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,507 Posts
EC Sheedy said:
Great piece! I noticed it through Courtney Milan tweeting it, as well.

But I've got a question about the "grovel." I've written quite a few romances, but I never really understood this term as it is applied to a romantic/love relationship. The word itself brings (to me at least) a really unpleasant image. So I'm asking, when using the word "grovel" are we really talking about the, uh, declaration of love made by the hero--with maybe an I'm sorry mixed in there if it's required?

I remember reading the HR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood books and one of the things that stood out to me was that within each of the stories the big bad vampire heroes made a strong statement of their love for the heroine--and they were quite beautifully worded, almost poetic. I don't remember groveling. Did I miss it? Maybe someone could recommend a book where a truly spectacular "grovel" is in play. :-\
I have a habit of making my low point the heroine telling the hero she loves him and the hero not being able to deal with this. He'll either say he doesn't know if she loves her or she'll cut him off and tell him she doesn't want to hear it right now because she has finals, his mom is in the hospital, whatever and give him some kind of deadline. There is sadness and what if he doesn't love me!?!??! Then I have the hero make a gesture of some kind before/as he tells her he loves her to win her over. In one book, the guy gets a tattoo of her name (based on a teasing conversation they had earlier where he tells her he'll never fall in love, but if he does, he'll get her name). In another the hates the spotlight hero gets up on stage and sings for her. Generally, the more the guy failed her in the moment, the more epic I make his gesture.

That's how I see groveling-- a big gesture rather than a pathetic, on your knees apology type situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,897 Posts
EC Sheedy said:
But I've got a question about the "grovel." I've written quite a few romances, but I never really understood this term as it is applied to a romantic/love relationship. The word itself brings (to me at least) a really unpleasant image.
I think the referenced blog post does a pretty good job of explaining it. Basically the grovel is required when the hero is an alphahole. If you write stories where the hero is basically a decent guy who may have some problems, there's no reason for a grovel.

I think Andrews is also right when she says:

"Alphahole is not universally beloved by romance community. Far from it."

I hate the whole concept of a hero who's such a pig he needs to grovel and a heroine so stupid she accepts it. IMO Love doesn't change an arrogant a-hole into husband and lover material, at least not for a woman with a spine. I realize that puts me in the minority of romance readers, but there it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,337 Posts
I think you can do so many different things than whatever is hot right now. In some of my books, the guy messes up. And then, yes, he grovels. I've only written one guy that comes close to being an alpha hole, though, because I too don't like them.

In other books, the heroine messes up and has to grovel. Or more like, she is just not in a good spot and can't say what the hero needs to hear. I prefer conflict to be more realistic. And often, nobody messes up. The climactic thing is something external, and the hero and heroine are working together to address it. Those actually tend to be my favorite books, and reader favorites as well, because they don't require you to dislike either person at any point.

But yes, you ALWAYS have the guy declare his love. I usually have it a couple times--near the end, and at the end. Not poetic, because I like guys to talk like guys. But passionate and clear.

Romantic gestures are great, grovel or no. Love reading and writing them as long as not too cheesy. My favorite in my books was where the Maori hero plays the guitar and sings a Maori love song to the heroine in a cafe. (Maori are big singers.) Since he's huge and battered, it was sweet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,621 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,299 Posts
The best line in Andrews' piece: "Any more a-hole and we risk entering Shades of Gray territory."

In New Adult romance, there are a number of popular Christian Grey-level a-holes.  There is a market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,251 Posts
I'm way too busy suffering nobly in somber brooding masculine splendor to bother with commenting on this thread - otherwise I would scowl at you in true Gregory Peck fashion and maybe pat you on the head and say "There, there." in true patriarchal patronizing fashion..

And then duck.

Oh yes, I would DEFINITELY duck!
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Yeah, Steve, beat it. :D

I'm really interested in the grovelling thing. I don't like a grovelling "Man, I'm sorry babe, I love you, blah, blah" hero. I don't trust it. The grand gesture is too easy. The Alphahole Hero (for me) would have to join the Peace Corp, start a soup kitchen or work with orphans in India for a year and when he comes back to win the heroine, he'd have to totally back off, be a friend, want her to be happy with whomever she chose--and because of that she would choose him. There's just not enough time to transform an Alphahole into "the father of my children."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
doolittle03 said:
Yeah, Steve, beat it. :D

I'm really interested in the grovelling thing. I don't like a grovelling "Man, I'm sorry babe, I love you, blah, blah" hero. I don't trust it. The grand gesture is too easy. The Alphahole Hero (for me) would have to join the Peace Corp, start a soup kitchen or work with orphans in India for a year and when he comes back to win the heroine, he'd have to totally back off, be a friend, want her to be happy with whomever she chose--and because of that she would choose him. There's just not enough time to transform an Alphahole into "the father of my children."
That's cause they don't want him tame. They want him trained.

He can still be the same chest thumping, domineering bastard he's always been...to other people. He just better not bring that home to her. So he's still a pitbull, he's just a pitbull on a leash.

So yeah, if pitbulls aren't your thing at all, if you prefer golden retrievers or dalmatians, then no amount of training is going to make a pitbull right for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,678 Posts
Maybe that's the deal with the groveling thing then . . .

If a writer creates a truly rabid alpha hole, a cold, cruel, kicks the dog kind of hero, then the grovel--after he is transformed by love--is an essential part of the story. It's almost a form a punishment.

I'm assuming that after the "grovel" the hero has changed sufficiently that he is now, as Kayci said, a pitt bull on a leash.  :)  I think if a writer does write this kind of hero, then in some way the change has to be made believable by some (character) foreshadowing of some kind?

(And, yeah, you better duck, Steve--you know we romance writers have no sense of humor!  :mad: ;D)
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top