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Friday, June 29, 2007

GettingSummer Write! Good Guys Don't finish Last - the Beta Man.

So much has been written about the Alpha Man, the strong, confident silent type that sometimes, we don't realize that there's a place for the Beta man in our romances. Beta heroes are sexy. They are compassionate. They are sometimes the heroine's best friend.
The Beta Man has many of the same physical attributes as the Alpha man. He's handsome, strong and appealing. But there's a more sensitive side to him. He's Joe Average, who sometimes wears his heart on his sleeve. He's not JR Ewing of th oil business. He's Bobby Ewing. He's not Dr. McSteamy in Grey's Anatomy. He's George, everyone's best friend.

The Beta Man is the father trying to raise his teen-age daughter or the mechanic who loves what he does for a living. He's the boy next door in love with the girl who got away. He's a man struggling for success, or just plain happy with his lot in life, whatever that may be. He has a tender side and at times. he can't help but show it. He is NOT James Bond, but he too is a man every reader can fall in love with.
Berkley Sensation author Karen Kay says that her ideal man is never cruel. "It takes real strength to be understanding and refuse to budge from one's ideals when it would be way too easy to lash out and be cruel.

Bestselling author Maureen Child says, "A real man has to have a good sense of humor ... the most important thing for me."

Probably the most "Beta" hero I've ever written is Shane Graham in my western historical, Abducted at the Altar. In fact, the original story had been rejected because he was too "beta", too willing to help the heroine. I sat on that story for a while, but loved it so much, that I reworked his character a little and was able to sell it to my publisher. He's a great hero, strong when he needed to be strong, a true reluctant caring man-next-door type for my feisty heroine, Dorie McCabe.

Another great example of Beta Man is the hero, Danny Tucker in Erin McCarthy's book, Heiress for Hire. It's a story that has stayed with me for a long time and recently became a 2007 Rita nominee.

A Beta Man is often:

Boy next-door type
Shows his emotions
A man worth knowing and loving

Traits he shares with an Alpha Man:
Often misunderstood
Sexually appealing
Comfortable in his own skin
Next up on the blog: The "Why's" of your character. How to develop your character's traits before you write a single word.
This weekend I'll be doing copyedits for my upcoming western romance, Bodine's Bounty and I'll be volunteering my time with Operation Gratitude - helping to assemble and fill boxes of essentials in mass numbers for our US soldiers around the globe. It'll be a busy time. Wishing you a great weekend!
We'll be picking a winner for my Between the CEO's Sheets contest on June 30th. You still have time! Good luck and always:
Happy Reading!

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