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Rizzo
12-05-2007, 11:57 PM
It's been almost a year since I last posted here, and since then I've taken a writing for romance class, bought more writing books, joined an online critique group and am now in my last weeks of school.

Anyway, all through that I've noticed something. The Hero's are always tough guys that get what they want because they are either rich and sexy, a dangerous Vampire and sexy, or a medieval lord and sexy.

I'm not talking about having a weak willed guy keeping his head down with a female dom, but when I wrote my next book I did it with the idea that this guy wouldn't walk around with his chest puffed out all the time, though he could still handle himself when needed. But that seems to be the problem in my story. My critique partners are saying that any medieval lord had to be a dominant alpha in order to protect his lands, and I can understand this and have made a few changes to hopefully buff him up enough so that they're satisfied, but does an alpha hero who knows how to handle himself have to be an arrogant jerk?

What do you think?

nessam
12-06-2007, 12:17 AM
I actually get very frustrated with arrogant jerk alpha heroes. I think most people are not really like that and if they are no one really likes them. I think it is fine to have more natural qualitites in characters.

Higgins
12-06-2007, 12:18 AM
It's been almost a year since I last posted here, and since then I've taken a writing for romance class, bought more writing books, joined an online critique group and am now in my last weeks of school.

Anyway, all through that I've noticed something. The Hero's are always tough guys that get what they want because they are either rich and sexy, a dangerous Vampire and sexy, or a medieval lord and sexy.

I'm not talking about having a weak willed guy keeping his head down with a female dom, but when I wrote my next book I did it with the idea that this guy wouldn't walk around with his chest puffed out all the time, though he could still handle himself when needed. But that seems to be the problem in my story. My critique partners are saying that any medieval lord had to be a dominant alpha in order to protect his lands, and I can understand this and have made a few changes to hopefully buff him up enough so that they're satisfied, but does an alpha hero who knows how to handle himself have to be an arrogant jerk?

What do you think?

Writing strickly as an arrogant jerk, I would say nothing beats an arrogant jerk....not even a real tough guy since they aren't used to being indirect and any arrogant jerk is using his arrogant jerkiness as a cover for several other approaches. I say stick with arrogant jerks.

Jersey Chick
12-06-2007, 12:23 AM
I think there's a difference between arrogant vs arrogant jerk. A guy can be arrogant without being a jerk, simply because of power. When it's coupled with a sense of entitlement, you run the risk of jerkiness.

In one of my WIP, the hero is arrogant but that comes from power. He's a decent guy, but he's arrogant. He doesn't have the sense of entitlement because though he inherited his power, he doesn't really want it. And not wanting it, but having no choice, makes him a lot more human. Ergo, a lot less jerkier.

smlgr8
12-06-2007, 12:36 AM
I love arrogant alpha medieval heroes. That being said, I agree with Jersey Chick that doesn't equate "jerk".

On the other hand...one of my favorite medieval heroes was a muscular hero who could be arrogant but he was also gentle and patient and well-read which he needed to be for his wild, crazy, heroine who'd already murdered one husband, LOL.

It just depends, really.

Stacia Kane
12-06-2007, 12:47 AM
All my heroes are alphas, some of them are arrogant, but I don't think any of them are jerks.

veinglory
12-06-2007, 03:38 AM
Alphas are still the norm, and most of them are from my subjective POV also jerks, thugs or just idiots.

But I suspect the writer of non-alpha men would be as out of luck as the potential reader. It just isn't done.

sigh.

Marian Perera
12-06-2007, 04:20 AM
Alphas are still the norm, and most of them are from my subjective POV also jerks, thugs or just idiots.

But I suspect the writer of non-alpha men would be as out of luck as the potential reader. It just isn't done.

I don't know... Pamela Morsi's and Lorraine Heath's heroes strike me as being strong without being the dominating alpha type. But you're right in that alphas seem to be the norm. I don't mind them as long as the heroine is strong enough to hold her own and stand up to them, but I don't pick up novels where the heroine is a virgin while the hero has tons of experience, or where she's a secretary while he's the billionare owner of the company.

veinglory
12-06-2007, 04:35 AM
I find it next to impossible to find romances between true equals in power. If she is a stromng cop he goes one step further to be a vampire or a millionaire and still be able to loom over her.

Personally I like SNAGs, or even man-damsels.

Jersey Chick
12-06-2007, 05:54 AM
I have no problem with Alphas (I don't think I've created a hero who wasn't alpha :D) as long as they aren't complete a-holes about it. I like the idea of a heroine strong enough to hold her own, and who eventually wins by softening him up a little.

aliajohnson
12-08-2007, 02:37 AM
Count me in on the alpha doesn't necessarily equate with jerk side. A good alpha male isn't just powerful--he's admirable. He isn't attractive simply because he has power, he's attractive because he knows how to use that power very, very well.

If a male character has gobs of strength and he's using it be a jerk, well then, I'd say he'd make an excellent antagonist. But I wouldn't want him anywhere near my female MC.

Just my humble opinion. :)

Chasing the Horizon
12-08-2007, 06:31 AM
Alpha heroes are fine sometimes, but I get sick of reading them all the time, and sometimes they really do come off as arrogant jerks.

A medieval lord doesn't have to be alpha. Most of my heroes are beta or omega, and they're all pirate captains on my fantasy world. They keep control over their ships because their crews love and respect them, not because they fear them (and because my heroes pull brilliant heists which make the crews very rich). A lord could keep control over his lands in the same manner. Most of my heroes are very intelligent and master manipulators, which gets you farther than alpha arrogance and an overblown tough guy act in just about any culture. Besides, if my heroes took an attitude, the group of warrior women they hang around with would slit their throats :D

I like to both read and write matches between true equals. That means that if I write an alpha hero, I match him with an alpha heroine. Likewise, my more mild mannered heroes are with the sweeter women. Beta/beta matches are very interesting because you don't have the built-in conflict of one person trying to control and dominate the other, so you have to get more creative with your conflicts.

aliajohnson
12-08-2007, 06:45 AM
Most of my heroes are beta or omega, and they're all pirate captains on my fantasy world. They keep control over their ships because their crews love and respect them, not because they fear them (and because my heroes pull brilliant heists which make the crews very rich). A lord could keep control over his lands in the same manner. Most of my heroes are very intelligent and master manipulators, which gets you farther than alpha arrogance and an overblown tough guy act in just about any culture..

Your heroes sound like alphas to me. Unless they're taking orders from someone else? Besides your female MCs of course. :D

Stlight
12-08-2007, 11:00 AM
The alpha males in romances tended to make me want to slap the heroine for being willing to keep seeing them and more so when she forgave him his arrogance and went off into the sunset or dawn with him. Several books went flying across the room. These alpha males didn’t even have the redeeming features of the alpha dog in a pack. The alpha in a dog pack isn’t rude. As near as I can tell a bunch of men went out read these books and decided being rude, belittling and telling women what they want and believe will get them laid.

So I quit reading romances for 15, yes, 15 years.

I’ve begun reading a few of the Harlequin hearth home and beta males, who are more alpha males IMO than the ones noted as such. But then I like the Next, Nocturne and Luna series the best of the Harlequin sets. I miss the Duets and look for books heavy on fun, which automatically means no alpha males - apparently.

Who needs to day dream about jerks, who refuse to not tell you how you think and feel? All you have to do is step out your door and there they are.

Stlight

Cathy C
12-08-2007, 08:49 PM
Keep in mind too that a leader often has a "public" face and a "private" one. Many of the top leaders know that they must come across to the public as appearing in complete control, will brook no dissent and tolerate no slander. But in private, that same man often listens closely to key advisors, spends long hours weighing the situation and finally appears back "in front of the curtain" with a pronouncement that can seem very much the arrogant jerk.

I tend of think of Supreme Court Justices for guidance when considering my Alphas. They get the benefit of writing down their opinions for the world to see, but even if they didn't, the thought behind the act is still there---and the mental/emotional struggle still remains that can be shown in private dialogue. I think that even someone like Donald Trump, who can appear every bit the arrogant jerk in public, didn't get to the top without the mental and emotional struggles behind the curtain. It's all in how you write it. It can be a lot of fun to watch a hero or heroine discover that they were all wrong about someone they believed was arrogant and jerky, but who really isn't. :)

Bubastes
12-09-2007, 05:03 AM
Just echoing Cathy's post. I don't like stories where the hero is a one-dimensional alpha, but I love stories where the alpha part is one side of a multi-faceted personality (in my experience, this mirrors reality). Many times, being in a powerful position forces someone to play the "bad guy" role at times, both at work and at home. I find that the most interesting conflicts arise when the heroine is too quick to judge the hero, and vice versa, based on limited information. Jumping to conclusions about someone creates all sorts of fun misunderstandings that can drive a story.

ZannaPerry
12-11-2007, 09:33 PM
I just finished up a book where the alpha hero was described very sexy, rich (successful lawyer) who could get any girl he wanted. BUT, all the women who wanted him only wanted his money, never him. And when he finally found the woman of his dreams, a woman who liked him for him and not the money, she turned him down. But you know how all romances turn out, they end up getting back together, married, etc....

I'd say that hero described isn't your usual Alpha male, because through out the book he definitely changed from big male ego to getting down on his knees begging for the woman to love him.

My next book, I am trying to get away from the usual Alpha hero, so I totally understand, Rizzo.

Rizzo
12-12-2007, 06:46 PM
Hmm, everyone seems to have great ideas of what does and doesn't make someone an arrogant jerk, but Cathy C you brought up something to me that I didn't think of, that's the public and private image, and Hope to the Horizon, I'm so glad you said that not all Medieval Lords are Alpha's, makes me feel a little better about my own Hero. :) And I gues as long as the Hero and Heroine's do a little spiritual growing then everything should be fine, thanks Suzy B

batgirl
12-13-2007, 12:03 AM
While Georgette Heyer did have alpha heroes, she also had gentle or even foolish heroes. Look at the hero of The Foundling, of Cotillion, or Freddie in Friday's Child. And Heyer is still being published and read.
While Elizabeth Peters has Radcliffe Emerson, who is pretty damn alpha (although the story takes the mickey out of him in various ways) she also had less dominant heroes in several of her contemporary romances, like The Camelot Caper.
Also, what part of the Middle Ages? Lords held their lands because they inherited them and because the King was backing them up. It was perfectly possible for a lord (and other ranks) to be foolish, feeble, poorly-advised, etc. and still keep his place, because rising against him was the same as rising against the king. Kings don't like that. But anyways, 'medieval' covers such a wide and ill-defined period that it's risky to make any generalisation about it - even though I just did.
-Barbara

Jersey Chick
12-13-2007, 01:28 AM
Personally, I like Alphas - I'll take Rhett Butler over Ashley Wilkes any day. :D

smlgr8
12-13-2007, 01:51 AM
Personally, I like Alphas - I'll take Rhett Butler over Ashley Wilkes any day. :D

I'm with you! Although I wouldn't choose either guy from GWTW (not a fan). But give me the alpha any time. Not to mention it is entirely possible for an alpha to be sensative too.

Of course, I write Alphas and almost Alphas (LOL).:)

Stacia Kane
12-13-2007, 01:55 AM
Personally, I like Alphas - I'll take Rhett Butler over Ashley Wilkes any day. :D

Seconded (thirded?) 100%.

Jersey Chick
12-13-2007, 02:40 AM
Rhett was sensitive - when Bonnie Blue died, it just about killed him. He just hid it well other times :D

Marian Perera
12-13-2007, 04:13 AM
Personally, I like Alphas - I'll take Rhett Butler over Ashley Wilkes any day. :D

I know what you mean. The hero of my fantasy novel was inspired in some ways by Rhett Butler - he understood the heroine and was protective of her, but he didn't take any dishonesty or passive-aggressive behavior from her either. Rhett was a great hero.

I'm trying to think of the alphas I can't stand. The ones who force themselves on women, usually. I don't care if her treacherous body is betraying her; if she's saying no, stop. And the type who distrust all women because their ex-wife cheated on them. Or the ones who seduce the heroine, realize this is the closest they'll ever come to True Love, end it for whatever reason, go off and boink other women until they realize that this is a Poor Substitute for True Love, and then go back to the heroine. She, of course, has been chaste in the guy's absence, because the promiscuity that the hero can indulge in would sully the heroine forever. So she takes him back, newly acquired STDS and all.

I don't mind both of them doing it safely with someone else, but the double standard really irritates me.

Rizzo
12-13-2007, 04:29 AM
newly acquired STDS and all[/s].

LOL!!!!! XD I cracked up when I read that.

BTW, my time period is 1311, four years after Edward the first.

job
12-13-2007, 05:36 AM
Couple or two things.

All this alpha stuff is a matter of taste.
You find beta sexy? Then the reader will.


But your hero does, I think, have to be successful in his environment.
In some way, on some level, the hero is of 'heroic' stature.

In Krentz's 'Deep Waters', the hero spends a lot of time looking at bowls of water. In Putney's 'Rake', the hero is not drinking. Beverley's Rothgar schmoozes with the king. Kinsale has a couple of betas.

Your challenge in matching 'beta' to 'feudal lord' will be in making your fellow successful and 'heroic' --but not an aggressive alpha --in a time when folks were running around with longswords. Not necessarily easy, of course ... but what a great complex character you'll have in the end.

Have you looked at Madeleine Hunter's 'By ...' series?

jamiehall
12-13-2007, 05:55 AM
I never liked them to begin with. Ick! It just isn't my idea of romance.

aliajohnson
12-13-2007, 06:42 AM
After reading these posts, I get the feeling I might have a different idea than some others of what constitutes an alpha male.

The definition I found when I googled the term was--"The dominant male in a group of animals." This is pretty much what I've used as an alpha male measure. I've never assumed he had to be the most ripped (though that's fine by me:D) or the richest guy in the room (still not complaining)--he just has to have whatever it happens to take to be the leader.

To me, that means the scrawnier quiet guy with the enormous brain can be alpha too--if intelligence is establishing the pecking order.

Am I totally off on this? Have I been a great admirer of betas and omegas all this time and not realized it?

Rizzo
12-13-2007, 06:44 AM
Job, you're right, having someone be a nice guy is a little hard, but in my critique group I've only heard one complaint, which leads me to believe that either everyone else doesn't have a problem with it or they're trying to be polite by not saying anything. Anyhow, as I said earlier I'll try and change him a * little* but otherwise I'll have to go the hard way and make him otherwise not an Alpha, but at least what you're telling me is by the end I'll have this awsomely complex Hero ;)

Madeleine Hunter, never read any of her books, I'll have to look them up, thanks :)

veinglory
12-13-2007, 07:09 AM
Alla, I think the key is that an alpha buys into the pecking order idea at all and is at the top of it. Neither is a hit with me. But I rather suspect a really beta (if there is a pecking order the girl is higher in it) would be a hard sell to publishers not matter how much the writer loved it. That is probably one reason why I write m/m

Ziljon
12-13-2007, 07:20 AM
I'm tired of arrogant people in general.

Marian Perera
12-14-2007, 05:25 AM
Slight digression, but I've been wanting to write this for a while. Here are some impressions I have of the sexual habits of alpha males :

The alpha hero is always more sexually experienced than the heroine. The narrative sometimes underlines this by describing his pleasure at being the first to penetrate her/give her the best orgasm of her life/give her the first orgasm of her life. He's also confident about his bedroom skills. Even if it's his first time with the heroine, he knows how to please her and doesn't need any advice or guidance (and sometimes not even explicit consent) on her part. Despite his experience, he rarely if ever considers the possibility of STDs or conception*. In the course of the novel, he may have sex with other women both before and after meeting the heroine, though if these encounters fall into the post-heroine category, they will leave something to be desired. He may even see the heroine's face superimposed over that of the Other Woman (so it's not like he's being really unfaithful to her).

In this respect, my hero isn't an alpha. But I think I can live with that. :)

*Though come to think of it, I've very rarely come across a hero, alpha or otherwise, who put a helmet on his soldier before marching off to war.

blackpen
12-14-2007, 05:34 AM
my friend and i once had an interesting conversation about good alpha males vs. asshole alpha males. he said that a true, good alpha male is a strong leader type that still has morals, like leonidas in 300 or maximus in gladiator. an asshole alpha male is a guy who is a douche and gets what he wants by being a strong douche. i must say i like his distinction.

dolores haze
12-14-2007, 05:39 AM
*Though come to think of it, I've very rarely come across a hero, alpha or otherwise, who put a helmet on his soldier before marching off to war.

But if he did that then what would happen to all the secret babies?

JeanneTGC
12-14-2007, 05:48 AM
I like my alpha males. I like a lot of them and I like them to fight over the alpha female. Usually verbally, or in trying to one-up each other to impress her. However, I don't go for the 'jerk', and if I do, he's either not going to get the girl or he's going to learn, from the other alpha males, what he has to do to get the girl.

But then, all my heroines are pretty much kick-ass. It takes strong men to make it worth their whiles to bother with.

I agree with job -- if you, the writer, like your characters, be they alpha, beta, omega, whatever, then the reader will like your characters.

Jersey Chick
12-14-2007, 07:54 AM
I think of alphas as Rhett Butler (shocking, eh?) or Harrison Ford as either Han Solo or Indiana Jones - just oozing self-confidence, not someone who goes out of his way to prove himself to the heroine in a showy kind of way, but does it kind of behind the scenes. My heroes tend to seem strong and unbreakable to the outside world, but to the heroine, once she's caught him, he's something entirely different. My heroes are a bit on the scoundrel side, but they are all good underneath. Once they're won, they're won forever. They aren't assholes - just strong.

And, what is an omega? I've never heard that before (or my blonde is showing again) :D

smlgr8
12-14-2007, 08:21 AM
Well once my alphas meet the heroine they never ever have sex with another woman (or in the case of my m/m erotic romance the hero is only with the other hero after they get together, LOL). But I agree with Jersey about my perception of an alpha hero.

Omegas are like omega wolves. In the wolf kingdom they are weaker, but they are like the peace makers, the ones other pack members like and protect. The only omegas I have read are in m/m stories but I am guessing some writers use that type of character for their m/f romances. I just haven't really seen it, at least from MY perspective of what an omega is. Some may think of it differently.

Bubastes
12-14-2007, 05:49 PM
I think of alphas as Rhett Butler (shocking, eh?) or Harrison Ford as either Han Solo or Indiana Jones - just oozing self-confidence, not someone who goes out of his way to prove himself to the heroine in a showy kind of way, but does it kind of behind the scenes. My heroes tend to seem strong and unbreakable to the outside world, but to the heroine, once she's caught him, he's something entirely different. My heroes are a bit on the scoundrel side, but they are all good underneath. Once they're won, they're won forever. They aren't assholes - just strong.

And, what is an omega? I've never heard that before (or my blonde is showing again) :D

Oh yes, Han Solo is definitely my model alpha hero.

Leia: I love you.
Han: I know.

Classic!

Stlight
12-16-2007, 11:23 AM
Jersey Chick and others, it’s been years since I thought of GWTW, but haven’t forgotten much of it. Of course, as Jersey Chick said, “when Bonnie Blue died, it just about killed him (Rhett}.” And well it should have, he was the one who said she was ready to ride that horse and take that jump. Scarlet disagreed, but as usual Rhett wouldn’t listen to her.

I also thought it was just as well that Scarlet and Rhett separated. Scarlet was bound to think of how and why Bonnie Blue died whenever they made love, because that’s the way the human mind works.

IMHO

And I do take back the part about alphas if Amelia's Emerson is added to the count. I never thought of those books as romances, but as mysteries. That changes a lot.

Stlight

Marian Perera
12-16-2007, 02:16 PM
Scarlet was bound to think of how and why Bonnie Blue died whenever they made love, because that’s the way the human mind works.

Have you read the sequel Scarlett, by Alexandra Ripley? I found it awful for a number of reasons, but the treatment of Bonnie's death was definitely one of them. The memory of Bonnie is swept under the rug like a dust bunny, Scarlett and Rhett make love with no problems at all and when they have a replacement kid, Rhett doesn't so much as mention Bonnie.

But then again, the Scarlett of Scarlett is rarely if ever human, compared to the Scarlett of Gone with the Wind.

Jersey Chick
12-16-2007, 07:43 PM
Jersey Chick and others, it’s been years since I thought of GWTW, but haven’t forgotten much of it. Of course, as Jersey Chick said, “when Bonnie Blue died, it just about killed him (Rhett}.” And well it should have, he was the one who said she was ready to ride that horse and take that jump. Scarlet disagreed, but as usual Rhett wouldn’t listen to her.

I also thought it was just as well that Scarlet and Rhett separated. Scarlet was bound to think of how and why Bonnie Blue died whenever they made love, because that’s the way the human mind works.

IMHO

And I do take back the part about alphas if Amelia's Emerson is added to the count. I never thought of those books as romances, but as mysteries. That changes a lot.

Stlight

Well, it isn't as though he did it purposely. And she brought out his soft side long before her death.

And yes, Scarlett is absolutely horrible - all of the characters are one dimensional at best. I would've thrown it across the room, but it was too heavy and I was afraid it'd put a hole in the wall.

Stlight
12-17-2007, 12:10 PM
I didn’t read Scarlett because I felt the only person who could have written the sequel was Mitchell and of course she didn’t, so I felt the book should end where it did. I know she said she didn’t because she was afraid it wouldn’t sell as well as GWTW, but I’ve always felt she didn’t because the book was finished. I didn’t watch the movie either and from what everyone said, I made the right choice on both.

Jersey Chick, I’m afraid I still believe Scarlet would have thought of Bonnie’s death at the worse possible times whether or not he did it on purpose, because he won the argument and got Bonnie on the horse and over the jump - sort of. Bonnie’s death mirroring that of Scarlett’s father made the whole thing a Greek tragedy, as if the Tarlington brothers death hadn’t already done that.

Actually I wasn’t impressed with Ashley and I didn’t like Rhett. Even if the book is set in Victorian times, he’s overbearing without Radcliff Emerson’s redeeming qualities. I liked Frank Kennedy.

My grandmother said that Scarlett was a terrible woman, an appalling person. I pointed out that if it hadn’t been for her most of her family would have died and she seemed to think that would have been better. That is the true Victorian view. Yes, my grandmother did her dating during the Edwardian era, but that didn’t seem to make it to small town Georgia.


Stlight

Jersey Chick
12-17-2007, 07:19 PM
I don't mean he showed it to Scarlett - he showed it to the viewer (or the reader) - his softer side came through on a few occasions - but Scarlett never really saw it until it was too late. The scene in the book, when she wakes up screaming from the nightmare (I think they are on their honeymoon in New Orleans) and he holds her and assures her. As for Scarlett - she did what she did for herself for the most part. She didn't want to lose Tara for her, not so much for her family. She was vain and selfish and didn't really care about anyone else until it affected her. Or if she did, she didn't realize it herself until it was too late.

Higgins
12-17-2007, 09:20 PM
After reading these posts, I get the feeling I might have a different idea than some others of what constitutes an alpha male.

The definition I found when I googled the term was--"The dominant male in a group of animals." This is pretty much what I've used as an alpha male measure. I've never assumed he had to be the most ripped (though that's fine by me:D) or the richest guy in the room (still not complaining)--he just has to have whatever it happens to take to be the leader.

To me, that means the scrawnier quiet guy with the enormous brain can be alpha too--if intelligence is establishing the pecking order.

Am I totally off on this? Have I been a great admirer of betas and omegas all this time and not realized it?

No, like most people, you have been a secret admirer of jerks. What does an alpha jerk have that no alpha asshole or good alpha can have? A jerk has an agenda and he gets what he wants. He knows himself and he doesn't necessarily like what he knows, but he makes do with what he has. This kind of deep, manipulative intelligence drives hither and yon in the world of desire, which is the world of romance, which is why arrogant, alpha jerks flourish in Romance. In the real world, of course, an arrogant jerk quickly learns that most of the time manipulative intelligence is simply overkill and far more trouble than it is worth....except when a jerk really falls in love.

Josie
12-17-2007, 11:23 PM
[QUOTE=I like to both read and write matches between true equals. That means that if I write an alpha hero, I match him with an alpha heroine. Likewise, my more mild mannered heroes are with the sweeter women. Beta/beta matches are very interesting because you don't have the built-in conflict of one person trying to control and dominate the other, so you have to get more creative with your conflicts.[/QUOTE]

Good point/idea!!!

Stlight
12-17-2007, 11:27 PM
Got it, Jersey Chick, I see what you mean and now I finally see what Grandmother meant. :-)

I see that cynical Rhett who was in his arms running strictly for the money, which translates as murderer without a cause) and Scarlet were truly suited to each other. Good thing for Scarlatti’s family that they were along for the ride, huh? I suppose the only honest, straightforward people in the book where Melody, emotionally (reasonably so) crippled Ashley and survivor Belle Whatly (sp).

The whole book was series of Greek tragedies which maybe why it remains, or as my sister says, it reads like a soap opera. One thing I do know is 43 years ago I was forced to read it as a school assignment and I disliked it. 42 years ago we were taken on a school field trip to see the movie. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie again and like I said I didn’t like either one. But, and this is huge, those horrible, selfish, and ineffectual characters remain vivid and more member able than those in the book I’m reading right now. (Six Days of the Condor - James Grady, which might be a love story since she takes a bullet for him)

Now the important question for me, and maybe other writers is why?

Stlight

Rizzo
12-23-2007, 09:01 AM
I didn't even know there was a sequal to Gone With the Wind. I have the GWTW book on my shelf but have yet to read it, when I do get around to it (After finishing all my Nora Roberts books) I'll have to track down the sequal too.

Stlight, I think I know what you mean when you say you wouldn't want to read it because the only person who can write a sequal would be the real author, but I would still get it, and once I read it would walk away knowing that it really wasn't how the story ended. I think of happenings like that as fanfiction that just made it to print. And since that's my guilty pleasure, I'd give it a shot.

Marian Perera
12-23-2007, 05:57 PM
I didn't even know there was a sequal to Gone With the Wind.

There are actually two - one is called Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley, which I have read and which is terrible. The other is called Rhett Butler's People and from what I've read of it on Amazon, it's equally terrible. Apparently in that book, Scarlett loses all her money and ends up picking cotton on Tara again, probably shaking her fist to the heavens and shouting, "Whatever happened to that 'As God is my witness' stuff?"

HeronW
12-23-2007, 06:50 PM
Then there are the males who think they're alphas until the REAL alpha female hands them their liver in a fondue pot. :}

Marian Perera
12-23-2007, 07:02 PM
With fava beans and a nice Chianti?

Gillhoughly
12-23-2007, 09:35 PM
Unless the alpha IS Sean Connery's James Bond (who knew when to shut it down), I am quite sick of them. They tend to go with the forced seduction device, which is also sickening. Some writers just don't know how to do it well and I've no patience to look for those who can.

I read Gone With the Wind half a dozen times between the 6th and 8th grades. A few decades later I picked it up again to see if I still liked it and happened onto Rhett's last big "I wanted to take care of you, Scarlett" speech toward the end. In this age of Xena I was ready to shove the book down his throat. To enjoy it now you REALLY have to detach yourself from modern times.

The Riply sequel? Waste of paper and exploitation all in one. I didn't bother with the other.

For a right round send-up of the the sequel debacle, read THIS instead: Naked Once More (http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Once-More-Elizabeth-Peters/dp/0446360325/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198428841&sr=8-3) by Elizabeth Peters.

It's a scathing, but hysterically funny look at what happens when a romance writer is hired to do the sequel to a famous bestseller. The original author is missing and presumed dead, but the publisher wants more money.

All neos should read this one for info on how publishing REALLY works!

Oh, heck, everyone needs to read Elizabeth Peters, period. She's just the best danged writer!

Start with Crocodile on the Sandbank (http://www.amazon.com/Crocodile-Sandbank-Amelia-Peabody-Book/dp/0445406518/ref=pd_sim_b_title_5). I swear she based the guy on Connery and the heroine on Kate Hepburn. No forced seductions, it's mutual spontaneous combustion.

Jersey Chick
12-23-2007, 09:47 PM
I'm also throwing in a "don't waste your time on Scarlett." One of the most AWFUL books EVER written. I can't help but wonder just how bad the other candidates were, since Margaret Mitchell's heirs chose Alexandra Ripley (and I'm assuming there were other hopefuls.) I shudder to think.

I didn't even know there was a Rhett Butler sequel as well - but somehow, I think I'll pass on that one as well.

Josie
12-23-2007, 10:04 PM
HAHA or is that HOHO

I love GWTW, started both sequels and thought they stunk

I'm writing an alpha male into a novel right now, its fun
but not serious it seems...darn why I wonder
Alpha men have a humorous quality in my story

Cheers

Gillhoughly
12-24-2007, 02:47 AM
I've Alpha heroes in all my works--but they aren't aware that they are Alphas. They're top of the heap and can kick ass when necessary; they don't go looking for trouble or overly assert themselves or try to "teach someone a lesson."

But when it comes to women, they are also gentlemen.

"There's a fine line between fiction and nonfiction, and I believe I snorted it in 1976." -- Kinky Friedman

Josie
12-24-2007, 02:56 AM
Of course, my alpha heroes are also
gentlemen to the bitter end :e2violin:

:D

Stlight
12-29-2007, 02:22 PM
Gillhoughly,
You are soooo right about Peters. I’d read her two archeological books which she wrote under her actual name Barbara Mertz and was so impressed, I wrote her a fan letter. My first and only one. She sent her newsletter with a scribble on the corner that I might enjoy the Amelia series.

I don’t even know how many times I’ve read the series, but as many times as I’ve read Ellie Peters Cadfael, I alternate the two.

I was disappointed in the volume she wrote to go in the middle sort of, but then, it’s always tricky to go back and write a book in the middle of a series. I’m still hoping for a good one about Abydos, but that’s just a place I want to read about.

On her other books, the only one I’ve read I didn’t like was Four Hundred Rabbits, which just had the feeling of writing to send a message and that never really works.

Stlight

scarletpeaches
12-29-2007, 02:48 PM
I'm also throwing in a "don't waste your time on Scarlett." One of the most AWFUL books EVER written. I can't help but wonder just how bad the other candidates were, since Margaret Mitchell's heirs chose Alexandra Ripley (and I'm assuming there were other hopefuls.) I shudder to think.

I didn't even know there was a Rhett Butler sequel as well - but somehow, I think I'll pass on that one as well.

Bit of a boast coming in here...I'm the most widely-read person I know (in real life) and the fastest reader I know. But Scarlett? It took me six damn weeks to get through that book. I wish I hadn't bothered. But next time I read GWTW I'm going to force myself through it again, so I can read both books in sequence and really get the sense of how unutterably shite Ripley's book is.

I've only just become aware of the Rhett sequel and you know what? I'll probably read that too, as I'm such a GWTW nut. I sincerely hope it's not as suckitudinous as Scarlett.