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Music choice of the week: (Something y'all might have actually heard of.)
Got It Made- Seether- Disclaimer II
Since Terri had to go and open up the "motto" topic this week (And I'm still pretty sure you were trying to trick me, pirate.), then Hellie follows it up with the changing trends, I might as well pretend like I know something about writing.
Yeah. *laughing* Right. I went rogue on this ship a long time ago.
I don't plot. *huff* I don't care what you say, Ter.
I don't admit to "feelings" and whatever kind of crap you're trying to sell me as general female emotion. *crossing arms over chest* At least not in my outside voice.
*eye roll* And I sure as hell don't cry. I'd rather die than be caught crying.
You may think, why this little rant?
I spent the weekend with Kiki and Dex. Always an adventure into repression and denial. I can admit while we're not supposed to write heroines like ourselves, Kiki has a lot of my emotional characteristics. And writing a character that reminds you a lot of yourself in a way is, well, annoying and trying and very challenging to make it seem original. This is where Kiki's opposite comes into play. The Yang to her Yin. In times when I'm so annoyed with Kiki that I can't stand it, I just insert my annoyance into Dex's lines and everything is kosher.
Terri spoke a little on having a motto for your characters to help compass your character's motivation and I've always known that Kiki's "motto" is- I don't deserve it. Sacrifice is the only way. Whereas, Dex's "motto" is- I take what's mine and damn the consequences.
I like Dex. He's motto makes me grin in the most wicked way.
Now (and you might want to get a feather bed for Terri to pass out on) I'm about to admit something that I definitely don't associate with most of my heroes.
Dex isn't a true alpha alpha.
*mass occurrences of fainting*
*Chance jumps overboard*
*Lisa throws up*
Now, I know that you're thinking Dex's motto is a bit on the alpha side of things. But stay with me. For the first time ever, I actually put some thought into this. (Not plotting, mind you. I've got my eyes on you three, Terri, Marn and Hal. Sneaky pirates.)
Kiki is a true alpha heroine. She stiff-arms emotion like a pro. You can't find a crack in her emotional guard armor. You can't find a way to get to her through others because she doesn't allow anyone close enough. You think you know her, but you don't- you know what she wants you to know. She is a rough and tumble girl. Paring her up with another alpha would only weaken her stance as lead alpha of her pack (not to mention probably WWIII). And I can't have that.
So, *deep breathing* I dreamed up Dex.
Dex and Kiki have always been paired in another series that I planned before the Sadie series. Kiki was the pretty unattainable girl Dex secretly loved from afar. Dex is the man that Kiki secretly loves but she could never forgive herself if she hurt him and she knows she will. She knows her emotional detachment from life would eventually kill the man she loves from afar. So she keeps him at a distance and (in my mind) he's been quietly grooming her slowly but surely to let him in.
Sneakiness, I can admire. I can respect that. You can ask Mattycakes. He said he tried all sorts of things to get my attention but the only way he got to me was by sneakiness (I can't resist a good head game. *pause* Wait... I didn't mean it like that.). I was damned sure I wasn't going to fall for him. In fact, I was going to move away from him to prove it to myself that I didn't need anyone.
By the time I realized how far I'd fallen, it was too late to run and I didn't want to. Once you get a taste of something in your life you've been starving for and didn't realize it, it's hard to let it go. I want Kiki to have this same realization to complete her character arc. It won't happen in one book, mind you; but the gradual acceptance of the little things that Dex does for her will eventually make her realize that while she's been looking at the big picture and trying to keep him out of it, he's already woven himself so deep into her life, she can't live without him.
I've always been at the realization that two alphas aren't made for each other. You don't have to be an alpha to dominate an alpha female. You just have to show her a lot of respect. Get underneath her skin and make her think about you and the possibilities. And an alpha females needs someone in her life to soften her, otherwise she eventually gets so far detached she can't come back. If the hero is so unyielding in his own emotions, how can you soften the pair of them together if you can't show them that it's okay to admit to a few feelings and have the need of someone in your life that you can count on? The story would get stagnant and stale if you had to read about them constantly butting heads over something. There has to be push and pull to keep interest and growth.
What characteristics do you look for in an alpha female versus the beta female? What are some pros and cons of each that you find irk (or admire) while you're reading? Any favorite alpha females out there in TV or Fiction? How about great alpha females and their men- any examples?