Alpha vs Beta

Friday, 11 October 2013

So, I got a rejection back on the partial I had with Harlequin Intrigue. I'm ok with that.  In fact,  I'm a little happy with it since it was a personalised rejection. I've subb'ed three times ( 1 synopsis, 1 first chapter, 1 partial-- all through contests)  and received two personalised rejections and one form, so hey, go me!

Specifically she said it was too gritty and graphic for the line (yeah, I can see that now) and the pacing was slow with too much romance and not enough suspense (I think I get that, too). These are things I understand and will definitely work on. In fact, sitting here now I can see where my mistakes are.

What I can't decide is if I even want to try to rework it. A friend of mine, Sophie, is reading it and has been asking for the next chapter, but I'm not sure my heart is in it. In all honesty, I have been desperate to finish it only so I could go back to the story I started in NaNo last year that has been calling me. Should I plod ahead, knowing the whole book is a mess, or take some notes and move on? I can always come back to it later. I wonder if Sophie would forgive me...

The last thing the editor said confused and concerned me. She said my hero was 'a bit too Beta for our readership and they will not find that appealing'. Hmmm... Now please understand that I am not questioning her judgement. If anyone knows her stuff it is the editor of such a major line. I am just wondering how to make him more alpha. You see, this hero in particular always came off as a bit too cocky for me anyway. I thought he was alpha, but I guess not. I'm going to have to do a lot more reading,  both of HI books and on what the difference between alpha and beta is.

What I'm really worried about, though, is that this guy was a bit 'too much' for my tastes. I prefer my heroes to be boy-next-door-ish, which I suppose is beta. I like a man who is down to earth, loves his family, and is working to make ends meet like the rest of us. I don't fantasize about some corporate bad ass sweeping me off to Rio. Nope. I'd prefer to watch the Fourth of July fireworks in the back of a pick up truck with a man who has calluses on his hands. So, really, it is safe to assume that most, if not all, of my heroes will be beta.

I do tend to write more small town South (the story in question is set in New Orleans, a place that I am fascinated with, but not somewhere I know well). I suppose, with the exception of a few ideas I have which include a little mystery, that I am more suited to Harlequin American Romance or Entangled Bliss.

And the big question? Is there a place for beta heroes in category romance? What do you think? Have any of you read or written a beta hero in a category romance? And if so, what line?

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