So, there has been some chatter among the New Adult community lately.
For explanation on the New Adult genre, see here. The best, simple explanation I heard was on Twitter, from a writer who had been at the Romance Writers of America conference: “Young adult is finding out who you are. New adult is finding your place in the world.”
New Adult characters are typically 18-25, with an emphasis on firsts — first time away from home, first love, first job. I love this genre. My current WIP (without really trying it, because I’m hipster like that) falls into this genre.
Anywho, can you get to your point, Megan? Right, so my point is there has been a trend in the romance side of this genre on what are deemed “alpha males,” which tend to show men as controlling, possessive, violent and in my opinion, bordering on abusive.
I don’t really want to simply reiterate what they said. I want to explain what I think an alpha male actually is. And what he’s not. The base definition of alpha is leader.
To me an alpha male is a leader, someone that others look to for guidance, who sticks up for what he thinks is right. Yes, he may be controlling, but in a way that ensures the healthy, safety and well-being of those who look up to him. Including the love of his life.
That does not mean that he is possessive to the point of cutting off his love interest from her friends (or his friends; gay men can be alphas, too). This does not mean he’s violent, going off half-cocked if he feels threatened. And this does not mean he insecurely tries to control his love interest’s life.
Because to me, an alpha is wise. An alpha is smart. An alpha has control over his emotions because he is strong. An alpha is secure in himself and in the love he has for his woman (or man), and for that love he gets in return. I like alpha males in romance novels. I just think my definition may be different that others.
An alpha can have issues. He can be scarred. He can still be an interesting character without being a lunatic and beating on anyone that looks at him or his love interest the wrong way.
I’ve met men like that in real life. It isn’t okay. It isn’t romantic. It’s scary and off-putting. So let’s not romanticize this, okay?
To support this, I added a button to my blog made by Mila Ferrera. It’s over there on the right. All sexy and stuff.
Please tell me in the comments what YOU think is romantic. What kind of hero do you like to see in your romance novels?