Saturday, September 17, 2011

Jane Porter on: Love, Sex & The Alpha Hero

There were several workshops scheduled after the big Agents & Editors Forums.  For me, deciding which one to attend during this time-frame was a no-brainer:  Love, Sex & The Alpha Hero, hosted by Jane Porter

Hey, any workshop containing the word "sex" "love" and I'm there!  The reason, of course, is to improve on what I know so little about--writing-wise, at least.  At this point, I'm still too worried writing anything steamy would sound like something I regularly read vaguely heard about in men's magazines.

At the start of the seminar, Jane admitted the "Love & Sex" part of the title were attention-getters.  (Well that certainly worked).  So the focus was on what makes Alpha Males tick. And since I seem to have misplaced my membership card to the local chapter of Alphas-R-Us, I decided to stay.

Jane used key scenes from several cool movies, to make the following points:

1. The Alpha Male, or "Mr. A," as I'll call him, is the Top Dog (Tarzan).

Every protagonist needs a coming-of-age moment.  They won't know if they have the strength until they're confronted.
Protagonists have to act.
An Alpha operates above the law and public opinion and operates under his own code of ethics.  However, he won't abuse his position and has a strong sense of justice.  They are in control of, and secure in themselves.

2. Mr. A Won't Run from a Fight (High Noon)

Courage is a key element to a hero.
The darkest moment is the hero's defining moment.
A hero can't walk away from conflict, unless under duress.

3. Mr. A Has Tremendous Emotional Appeal (Last of the Mohicans)

Women love a strong guy, which taps into their fantasy of being protected.
Women tend to be nurturers and will nurture a wounded hero.
The hero has a flaw that makes him week, such as stubborness, uncompromising, unwilling to accept help or the inability to accept love.

4. Mr. A is a Sophisticated Lover (Goldfinger)

Sex is not about domination, but a combination of wit and dialogue.

5. Mr. A Needs a Mission (Gladiator)

Men need conflict, but great men need a purpose and fight for a cause.

6. Mr. A Needs a Mrs. A (Last of the Mohicans)

In classic romance, heros will choose a heroine and not look at anyone else.
An alpha male will search for a woman that is his equal.

The key note on relationships is not to pair people who aren't evenly matched.  This creates constant tension between the would-be partners.

And this tension is what drives the story.

No comments: