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23.10.2011 14:02    Comments: 0    Categories: Fiction Elements  Fiction Writing  Writing Characters      Tags: alpha heroines  female protagonist  elaine hopper  

The debate rages on between alpha, beta, and now gamma heroes regarding which one is the best hero. Personally, I'm partial to tall, dark, and handsome alpha males. Give me Indiana Jones, Hans Solo, or Rick O'Connell (The Mummy) any day and I'm on Cloud Nine.


No wimpy men for me. I dream of a hero who will go toe to toe with the evil villain and then sweep me off my feet. It's hard for me to imagine that some women don't like tall, dark, and alpha.


One of my critique partners and best friends prefers the warm and cuddly beta hero who is not afraid to change a dirty diaper in a single bound or cook a gourmet, candle-lit meal for two blindfolded. She thinks my alpha heroes are insensitive jerks and bullies. Needless to say, we don't see eye to eye. That's okay. I much prefer to have Indiana, Hans, and Rick all to myself. Millions of men populate our world and it would be boring if all men were cut from the same cookie cutter.


Writers spend a lot of time debating the merits of alpha and beta heroes. Join any romance writers' loop and you'll see what I mean.


But what about alpha heroines?


Although I haven't heard the term "alpha heroines" or "alpha females," I overwhelmingly hear a lot of writers and readers state their preference for strong, independent heroines of late. Most don't admire a soft heroine. They consider soft heroines to be weak.


My observation is that a large number of today's female readers want to read about strong heroines with whom they can identify. Young adult women love BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and the CHARMED sisters. They're gorgeous even as they vanquish wicked vampire and demon butt. My daughters are in total awe of them and want to be just like them. My sons drool over them.


Creating the alpha heroine isn't much different from creating the alpha hero.


Think strong, independent, self-assured characters. Alpha heroines not only like challenges, they love them, or at least meet them head on. Even when the CHARMED sisters get tired of demons intruding in their lives, they never back down and they never hesitate to put themselves at risk to protect their innocents.


Alpha heroines are not afraid to take chances. They don't cower in the face of problems and they don't back down in the face of danger. They don't let anyone walk over them or their loved ones. They don't wait for someone else to save them. They're just as capable of saving the hero and themselves as the hero is capable of saving them.


Alpha heroines often hold jobs alpha heroes traditionally hold such as fire fighter, policeman, military member, FBI agent, private detective, attorney, or starship captain. She is not limited to those roles, however. Scarlett O'Hara, one of fiction's all-time most famous alpha heroines, was a captain of industry.


Alpha heroines do not have to be paired up with beta heroes. Fireworks sizzle between many alpha heroines and alpha males. Scarlett O'Hara, for one. Rhett Butler, one my all time favorite alpha males, was the perfect match for steely southern belle Scarlett, infinitely better than her childhood love Ashley, a very beta male, even if she couldn't see it for a long time. Sparks flew hot and furiously between STAR WARS' Princess Leia, another alpha heroine, and space pirate Hans Solo.


Some people call a strong, independent woman a "bitch." Whoa! Historically, not a good connotation. Instead, look at it in our twenty-first century way:


B - Babe
I - In
T - Total
C - Control of
H - Herself


The concept takes on an entire new meaning, doesn't it? These same qualities in men have been highly admired for centuries. In contemporary times of equality, they are also highly admired in women, especially by other women. Don't forget that many men find them much more exciting than cowering damsels in distress. Think SHREK and Princess Fiona. They'd much rather have a capable, loving woman fighting at their side than a shrinking violet.


Keep this in mind while writing your twenty-first century alpha heroine and she will make you proud.

Copyright  Elaine Hopper (Chinara@aol.com)


About the Author


Elaine Hopper writes contemporary romances featuring twenty-first century alpha heroines for NovelBooks Inc., New Concepts Publishing, and Awe-Struck Ebooks. To date, she has fourteen published novels with more contracted for release in 2003


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