Alpha Males in books

Alpha Males

I am going to actually use my blog today for something other than book reviews. I have an issue with some of the books that I have read over the last decade or so, both in self publishing and mainstream publishing.

When did it become okay to just say the hero was an Alpha Male? The first time I ran across that description of a hero it through me for a loop. I felt I was missing so much of the man. For everything that he did that didn’t agree with what the heroine wanted or thought she needed she just thought ‘he is an alpha male I need to find a way around him.’ The writer never went into any explanation of what he was doing, going through, thinking of or feeling. She didn’t explain his stance, facial expressions, the words he used or anything else just kept saying ‘he is an alpha male.’ I have other writers that do the same thing, maybe not to the extent that she did it, but I find the term being used more and more to give the first description of the hero. Some authors will give their description of the hero and sum it up by saying ‘a complete Alpha Male.’ Again, I shouldn’t have to be told that he is an Alpha Male; if your description is good enough I should draw that conclusion on my own. His actions, deeds, words and stance should tell me this.

Am I wrong in this? Is this a new author’s shorthand that I missed the memo on? I thought ‘showing not telling’ was still the number one rule of writing? Am I a throwback to a different kind of writer, one that paints such vivid pictures with a few words that words like that weren’t needed? I mean I didn’t know what an Alpha Male was until I got older, I just knew the type of guy I liked in my novels, not in real life all the time, but definitely in my novels. I had never seen Alpha Male or Beta Male or anything like that in print in a novel until that one back in 2003, was I reading the wrong books? Was I caught somewhere in a different type of novel or different time and type of writing? Am I the only one that feels this way? What are your thoughts? Alpha male or not? Should our authors have to tell us he is an Alpha Male? Should our heroines be thinking ‘Oh, this is an Alpha Male.’? Or .Oh, he is driving me crazy with is heavy handed domineering ways.’? Please share your thoughts with me.


About lyssareviews

I am a single, pagan female who loves the written word. I am doing reviews on books to feed my reading habit. I will post those reviews here. I also love movies, TV shows, and laughing with my friends. I love to cochet, and am starting to spin my own yarn. Boy, do I think there very fun stories in that! So they might show up here. Also I have two cats and a small dog. Valkyrie, Miss Dottie and Sir Luck the Pup.... their stories may also sneak in here from time to time, to stay tuned.

Posted on 2013/04/08, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I totally agree with you, Lyssa. Summing up the character by saying he is an alpha male is instead of properly introducing him is backwards.It seems like the writer is pretty much just leaving it to the reader to do the their work. Like, they’re saying, “here, you describe him. I’m feeling a little tired right now.”

    • Part of the problem I am having lately now is that a lot more authors are doing this more and more, maybe not as bad as that author – who I have not read again since that one book – but they are doing it. Maybe using it as a summary of the alpha description, like describing his traits, showing his actions, then saying, a very real alpha male. Mostly notice it in paranormals, shifters, is it the animal quality of these characters that maybe leads to this term being used s much? As a published author what do you think?

      And thank you for replying to my post.

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