3 Key Points About Alpha Heroes from Eloisa James ... (2014 RWA Nationals) - Jo-Ann Carson

3 Key Points About Alpha Heroes from Eloisa James … (2014 RWA Nationals)


Deconstructing the Alpha Hero: Why and How He is a Bestseller

(speakers: Carrie Feron, Eloisa James and Linda Francis Lee)

This workshop deconstructed alpha heroes, the larger-than-life men women love to read about, but don’t always want to live with <grin>.

One – Characteristics

  • Ruthless (with everyone, but the heroine)
  • Homosocial (i.e., his bonds have been stronger with men than with woman…until he meets her)
  • Implacable  (He is the king of his world. He resists change, but the heroine changes his world the moment he meets her.)
  • Unreadable and Expressionless (He’s a puzzle that only the heroine can figure out and when she lets him know she “gets him” it goes straight to his heart)
  • Protective (He’s willing to die for her.)
  • Wildly possessive (always – once he’s picked his mate, she’s his)

Two – 5 Reader Pleasure Points

  1. The attraction between the hero and heroine when they first meet is strong and primal (my word).
  2. The hero doesn’t want to have the feelings he has for her. He’s used to compartmentalizing his life and she messes that up.
  3. His lack of control around her bothers him.
  4. His responses are enigmatic and the heroine at first has difficulty reading him.
  5. The hero tells the heroine secrets from his childhood that he hasn’t told  anyone else. This is often a plot twist.

Three – Women Love Alpha Males

Enough said.

How about you? Do you have any points to add to the deconstruction of alpha heroes? Love to hear your thoughts. Or share a cover with an alpha hero you love. Let’s have some fun.

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0 Replies to “3 Key Points About Alpha Heroes from Eloisa James … (2014 RWA Nationals)”

  1. Another of your great summaries, Jo-Ann. Thanks. I was afraid to read it, but was pleased to see that several of my heroes fit this mold. Ha! I must’ve picked all this up in many workshops and conferences over the years. And maybe subliminally from reading good writers. I’ll FB and Tweet.

    1. Morning Marsha
      Thanks for the twitter and FB love. I think your heroes fit perfectly.
      I was worried about going to the workshop, fearing that I’d learn that I’d done it all wrong, but similar to you I found my guys were okay. I did do some tweaking when I came home to make some reader satisfaction points more clear.
      It’s all fun.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Hugs and happy writing

  2. Fits JT to a T! I think it’s the control thing we like. Real men are rarely so totally under our control. At least after the first six months and that’s probably a good thing.

  3. You nailed it. Speaking as a reader, it’s tiring being in control of your life all the time (this is a Leo talking 😉 ) and I think I’d love someone to take over sometimes and take me to places (literal places) I’m to afraid to go to. He’d be big and strong and I would be totally safe… Not that my husband isn’t, and wouldn’t, but you know what I mean.
    but seriously, although i think I don’t necessarily want to write alfa males, according to this definition I guess i do. Especially the wounded, silent, but she gets him part.
    Great post Jo-Ann

    1. Hi Judy
      I think you nailed why we like to read about alpha males. The thought of a good-guy taking care of everything is appealing.
      Thanks for stopping by, your kind words, and adding to the conversation.
      and happy writing

  4. Great summary Jo-Ann. Love your reviews of courses I missed. I did see on another course, taken years ago, that it’s important to write alphas as assertive, not aggressive. A fine line.

    1. Hi Shereen
      You are so wise. I detest aggressive people, but love assertive ones. That’s so important.
      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
      Happy Writing

  5. I just finished reading Eloisa James’ A Duke of Her Own. No surprise, but I mentally checked off every point you listed. The hero keeps telling the heroine that he’s looking for a good mother for his children and she’s not the best choice. Then he succumbs to another attack of pure lust for her. It makes for a great story.

    1. Hi Helena
      It does sound like a good story. Eloisa James sure knows how to write them. It’s interesting that she hit every point.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best Wishes always

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