Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Essence of Man

In literature, there are many types of male characters. There's the best friend, the Alpha male, the sensitive, vulnerable type. Men have as many stereotypes in literature as women do, though something they're stronger and the most complaints come when you step out of those stereotypes.

So let's take a look at these stereotypes:

The Alpha Male

Typically so hot that he can burn the pants of any woman within twenty feet. The Alpha Male is generally tall, dark haired, super attractive, so rich that he has more money than he knows what to do with and lives in the life of comfortable luxury, in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Cool as a cucumber, in the most stressful, intense situations, he's also a sex God, fallen from the heavens, to bring some lucky woman the night of her life, over and over again. They are typically shown as independent men, in high flying careers: CEO, businessman, lawyer, politician, restaurant owner. Generally something in a suit.

The Alpha Male is often the lead male in the novel.


The Sensitive Soul

The Sensitive Soul is generally the good guy, sometimes who comes across as the bad guy a few times, throughout the story. They're misunderstood, creative and often travelers. They can either be the homebodies, that haven't left the town they grew up in, or they're the traveling type, who drift from place to place, 'searching for themselves'.

The Sensitive Soul is often kind, thoughtful, a good friend, loyal (sometimes to a fault) and very rarely the love interest, unless they're used as an opposites-attract with the bad girl/sassy girl. They're also more likely to have jobs that revolve around other people: bodyguard, doctor/nurse, vet, therapist.

The Sensitive Soul is not typically the lead male, though obviously there are exceptions.


The Best Friend

Ah! The best friend. The one most often relegated to the 'friend-zone'.

The Best Friend is the guy that the female lead spends the most time with, gets advice from, gets the closest to and can have all those 'almost' moments where they nearly kiss, boob-graze or see the girl naked, without it getting awkward. This is the guy the lead female is most comfortable with, yet never notices is generally the hottest guy in the room. Then, typically, he's looked over, for The Alpha Male, and is relegated to always pining away for the girl he's closest to, but will never be with.

The Best Friend is thoughtful, sweet, helpful in all the ways that count (choosing outfits, hairstyles, gifts for others, advice) and never gets the credit he deserves. The have a 50/50 chance of finally getting their HEA, with the female lead, unless there's an Alpha Male around.

The Best Friend also doesn't generally have a job (as they spend all their time with the female MC), but if they do, it's something fun or with a lot of free time: bartender, waiter, assistant, nurse, photographer, shop assistant, unemployed.


Whatever the type of guy your MC is, most writers tend to slip into these stereotypes naturally, because these are the kind of men we know/grew up with or want to be with. We want the Sensitive Soul, who can be our Best Friend, while being The Alpha Male in the bedroom. We want the strong, thoughtful, creative man, who can be unlike anyone else we know.

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