We get so invested in the lives of our characters that we either want the best for them or really want to see them get their just desserts. Our love/hate with our characters, especially that alpha male, can be as vivid and as passionate as our own love lives!
But should your character tie the knot?
Let's look at some of the types of alpha males and compare/contrast the possibilities...
HE’S A BAD BOY
We love to see bad boys tamed by strong women. But in order to not lose your audience, it’s important to keep those essential ‘bad boy’ qualities in your character even if you DO marry him off.
DO show his softer side and his opening vulnerability to his wife.
DON’T keep him so ‘bad’ he treats his wife badly.
DO keep him fiercely protective of his wife and/or family.
DON’T keep him chasing skirts like he’s still a hormone raging teenager.
DO keep the balance by having him still get a little wild.
DON’T have him act the same towards everybody.
Bad boys will still have friends they get rowdy with; keep that connection with his buddies. They’ll still get riled up by the things that always irritated them. At least now he’ll have a wife to calm him down and center him after a rough day. Yes, there are all kinds of bad boys, but the ones we love best keep this balance even after walking down the aisle!
HE’S A BILLIONAIRE
I’ve seen this everywhere lately; the billionaire bachelor who never trusts or opens his heart. Now you find yourself writing about him and you’ve introduced a vixen that sets his mouth to watering. But will they match up well? Will he still be compelling with a ring on his hand?
DO make it a process for him to trust her.
DON’T make him so instantly senseless that he divulges everything to her on the first date.
DO keep him guarded in his other business affairs.
DON’T turn him from savvy to sloppy – he didn’t get to become rich by losing his mind over every pretty face that ever turned his head.
DO have him involved in the wedding details.
DON’T have him so consumed with impressing her that he doesn’t take into account her simpler ideas for a smaller wedding.
Those rich guys are going to be helpless to at least throw a little cash around for their wedding day, which provides for a sweet fantasy. But balance it out by having him tone it down when she comes from a small town and wants a simple wedding. Besides, he can always splurge on the honeymoon!
We’re not talking Dean Winchester here, but any form of supernatural being you might bring to your sci-fi and/or fantasy writing. From warlocks to vampires, etc, even those with super powers can’t create a love like you can write for them. But will the witch tame his werewolf desires? Can a shapeshifter keep promises to his lovely if she never knows which him is really him? Supernatural marriages come with their own set of twists and turns.
DO have him insist on the traditions and/or spells from his heritage regarding marriage.
DON’T go too far outside the realm of traditional lore so as not to confuse the audience.
DO add a touch of magic to add a level of fantasy to the event.
DON’T have him dress in a tux.
DO think outside the box when it comes to how he’d show his commitment to her.
DON’T make it too violent or twisted (unless that’s your genre!)
Fantasy and sci-fi really opens a male character to a wide variety of options when it comes to bonding with a female character. Many supernatural beings might have a culture of showing a wedding more than saying vows like we do today. Mix it up – hold it outside at night where they can be alone together. Perhaps he’s created a special piece of jewelry that’s not a wedding ring or he takes on a symbolic tattoo to mark that his heart is hers alone. The sky is the limit!
HE’S A GOOD OLE BOY
…never meaning no harm… Haha, okay, so he might not be Bo Duke but here’s the sexy widower who never found love again until she walked in. Here’s the firefighter or the cop who has dedicated his life to others and now finds himself torn between throwing himself in harms way and throwing himself in her bed. But should they marry? Why not; every hard working good guy blooms under the tender love of a wife. If he’s been lonely too long, it’s time to get him hitched!
DO have him ask her father formally for her hand – cuz it’s what Daddy taught him.
DON’T make him too spineless when asking his future father-in-law.
DO have him fumble with simple straight-forward vows.
DON’T have him cry during the ceremony.
DO have him concerned that he won’t be good enough to treat her right.
DON’T have him chicken out of the wedding because he’s too scared.
Simple guys will want a basic tux and keep to the point when reciting a vow because they are sweetly simple at the core; and we love that about him. But if this is his second chance at love, don’t forget there might be a deep down hidden gem he’s been thinking about…a possible grandiose gesture to make amends for a lost love in the past.
The good guy can often surprise us more than the rest. His depth can often be hidden, and it can end up being the sweetest surprise of all on the honeymoon.
Did I miss your favorite guy?
What other DO’S and DON’TS can you think of to add to the list?
Comment below; I’d love to hear from you!