Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Announcing - All About Alphas

I've had a lot of messages recently about writing. When I ran the Writing Q&A I got a lot of responses telling me how much you enjoyed it and how useful people found it. So now I'm trying something a little different.

A Writing Q&A - but in more detail and on one topic.

And as I've been getting a lot of questions about this topic, plus the fact that I've seen it mentioned on several not yet published authors' blogs, I thought we'd start with a particular subject that always seems to get people involved - and where people who want to write romance often have a lot of questions.

So the topic for this first extended writing Q&A is All About Alphas.

A few days ago I mentioned that the Mills & Boon web site has set up a brand new community with discussion groups and forums etc. Over there, on the topic of How to Write For Modern Romance, editors have been talking about the Alpha Male. So obviously I'm on a wavelength with editorial as well as writers. There are some great points being made over there and a lot of useful advice. So I suggest that you go along and see what's on offer there as well.

One of the things you'll spot is something that I happen to think is very important - and that is that there is a list of how the Alpha Male appears in ALL the romance lines - Modern/Modern Heat/Romance/Historical/Medical - he is not just the sole and unique preserve of the Modern/Presents line. That's the mistake number one that a lot of people seem to make. The editors have details notes there on their descriptions of the Alpha in each of the lines. (I'll ask them if I can reproduce them here as well so we can discuss them if we need to)

But I'm also going to go to the horses' mouths so to speak - though I hate to think that I'm describing my fellow authors as horses! I'm so lucky in my writing friends that all I had to do was to say to several of them that I was planning this Q&A and would they consider giving me a quote for the blog and they all responded, all said yes - and within 24 hours most of them!

So as well as discussing, answering questions, I'm going to be able to give you help and advice and pointers as to what goes into writing a great alpha hero from many of the fabulous writers all across the lines.

Can I just pause here and say - a great big thank you to everyone who has agreed to join in and has sent their quote for me to use. You're all brilliant - thank you so much. And I know that everyone is going to love reading what they all have to say.

So that's the start - I'll post some topics, I'll also post the quotes and hopefully we'll have a great workshop on Writing the Alpha hero - but I'll also need your help and your contributions. It's a Q&A - so to make this really work, I'll need questions to answer

And that's where you all come in. If you have questions can you please post them now in the comments section so I have plenty to work from? I will hope to answer them as we go through the posts so that by the end you'll have the answers you need.

This is particularly important as things have changed slightly since I first planned this. Then I was not on a dreadline, with the book submitted, and I didn't have any immediate plans, other than - oh, cleaning my office, doing my accounts, catching up on emails . . . . But unexpectedly things changed today - blame Abby Green who has tempted me away to Ireland to spend a week with her. I hope that I'll be able to get some internet access and that I'll be able to come and reply to queries on the blog, but I can't guarantee exactly when. So I'll just say I'll do my best.

But even if I have to get round to answering things when I get back home then I will.

OK - over to you - what do you want to ask about the alpha hero?


Jill said...

oh boy, this is one I need help with I think. What do you do if it is hard for you to "think" alpha male? It doesn't help that the two men I've known best in my life (my father and my wonderful husband) are not traditional alphas. They are more your laid back, take life as it comes sort of guys, which I love. Great cooks, comfortable around women, pets, and children, paragons really. At least according to them! ;-)
I just draw a blank when I try and write a guy with an "alpha" edge.

Caroline said...

Hi Kate - love the blog and concept!
Unlike Jill my dh is what I would call an Alpha - as a retired detective in the Met police I suppose he had to be! It seems to me that the Alphas I read about (in the Moderns) are always hot shot corporate types / multi billionaires etc. etc. Sometimes I get a bit bored (GASP!) reading about these types. So my question is - Do you think an Alpha male can exist in a Modern who isn't a multi-billionaire / corporate hot shot? Or have I just crossed the line here and it's an absolute no-no for Modern's? Caroline x

Rachel said...

Dear Kate,

The Alpha Male...my downfall in more ways than one! My question is about getting the balance right with Mr Alpha. My most recent MS was (very nicely) rejected, one of the reasons being the hero, he:

'has a tendency to frighten the reader off with his ferocity and is also in danger of being negated for his 'alphaness'(the very quality that readers come to the books for)'.

I'd really like your thoughts on getting the Alpha character somewhere between too 'ferocious' and just too damn 'nice'. He has to be pretty ruthless if he is to (for example) coerce the heroine into a marriage of convenience doesn't he? The intial conflict between the characters also blazes in the first three chapters, so you can't have him grinning happily too much either.

On the submission front, I'm wondering if my synopsis let me down. Surely it's possible for the hero to be 'ferocious' in the first three chapters and then gradually redeem himself layer by layer over the rest of the book?

The 'execution' clearly needs some work in my case!

Have fun with Abby!




Home Bio Books USA Readers Writers Contests Events Blog Links

Join Kate's Newsletter

Email Kate

Modified and Maintained by HR Web Concepts