ALPHA, BETA, GAMMA?, AND OTHER CHARACTERIZATION

May 2, 2007 at 7:50 pm Leave a comment

There is this discussion going on at Cherry Forums about Alpha’s, Beta, and Gamma’s(which I still have no idea what the last one is.) The orignial question was posed as what are these three in relation to the hero as a character. Does it help or hinder creating and fleshing out your male character by using these labels.

For me it’s to what extent are you using the labels. Let’s say you’re writing an Alpha male, the type I hate, and during the whole time he’s quiet, unless he’s telling the heroine what to do and how to do it. The Beta is the listener, the one who holds here when she’s troubled (and God forbid) he’s usually the one who cries first.

I know these are rash generalizations, but that’s my point. If all you do is stick on the cardboard label then more than likely you’re writing a cardboard character.

Bad Writer.

So you ask how do you avoid this? Simple answer, don’t do it. (insert evil laugh) Anyway, I think the best way to go about it is to find out who your character is. To me that’s the hardest thing about writing. You have no story if you don’t have character. Ask yourself these questions: What would your character do, act, say, or doesn’t say in the situations that come up in the story and if the answers you come up with can still make him seem like an Alpha with tinges of Beta within him or vise versa, I think you’ll be fine.

Lastly they are just labels. Just like archetypes but don’t get me started on those.

Side note:OWOMV (other writer’s opinion may vary.)

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Entry filed under: writing.

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