Alpha Evolution: Goodbye Rhett Butler

Scarlet O’Hara’s dashing leading man, Rhett Bulter, might not have given a damn, but I do! I want passion, I want depth… I want a flawed hero with a heart.

When it comes to entertainment and the female audience, stoic and emotionally cool alphas no longer make the grade. Got a story with a Mr. Strong and Silent type? He better be working his way through a speech impediment — in between visits to the gym. How about a Mr. Can’t-Share-his-Feelings? Emotionally stunted alphas require complexity. Like a serial killer juggling fatherhood and work (Dexter, anyone?). Or at the very least, those old-school alphas, like Rhett, need to be in therapy and working through issues in order to love again.

My point is, whether I’m reading, or writing, I want to indulge my imagination. Sure, my real life might include a boyishly-adorable alpha husband who can wield an axe, a gun, and a chainsaw with equal ease, but he’s also the guy who laughs at the same fart jokes he enjoyed in grade school. This is marriage.

By the same fantasy-vs-reality measure, I’ll add my dear husband nods along dutifully when I obsess over handbags. He also couldn’t care less if I have a bit of cellulite on my butt. This is marriage.

I don’t want my entertainment to mirror everyday life, but to enhance it. Heroes need to be IMG_3403captured and explored in my imagination. Snapshot scenes artfully building to something much deeper: a relationship with characters I won’t forget (like Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars).

Because life is too busy to be bored with cookie cutter male characters. Like Rhett Butler. Though if he were a fictional hero circa 2014, he would not only give a damn, he’d be the first one to sign up for couples counseling.


About Jamie Brazil

Humor writer, romance novelist, Bloodhound enthusiast.

Posted on June 16, 2014, in Auth: Jamie Brazil and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I’m surprised there isn’t a GwtW and Zombies title out there already. Maybe you should take advantage of this, Jamie. After all, the franchise that started with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies did very well. 😉

    Great post. (And PS. What is it about husbands and farts?)


  2. I can’t get the question out of my head. Would Rhett be as popular is his character was introduced in 2014? Would Scarlett agree to couples therapy? Hum. A lot of their conflict was their lack of communication. If they just had an honest talk, many things would have been resolved but there wouldn’t be much of a story left. LOL


  3. Ha, zombie apocalypse, bring it on 🙂


  4. I’m probably committing a Romance Writer faux pas here, but I didn’t like GWTW. Didn’t like Rhett, didn’t like Scarlett. Must have been ahead of my time.

    Glad Romance Readers of today agree with me!


  5. I completely agree with everything you said. I want my heroes real but the best of them too. I want them with flaws they overcome but are not a complete a** while overcoming them. And I definitely want them to talk!


  6. > my real life might include a boyishly-adorable alpha husband who can wield an axe, a gun,
    > and a chainsaw

    Ready for the zombie apocalypse! Now that you bring it up, I think GwtW could have used more zombies 🙂 Miss Scarlett was bad ass enough to have dealt with them.


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