Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wicked Wednesday - new PNR couples


I've been hearing a lot of readers getting bored with the kick-butt heroines and Alpha males in paranormal romances. All the characters from various books blur together. The heroine and hero are becoming caricatures of themselves.

I still love a good PNR even when it has these same types of heroes, but I perk up when I find something new. I don't see these characters disappearing any time soon. Many readers still love the fantasy of a super possessive and domineering man and the beautiful warrior woman with a wit sharper than her blade. Yet there's room for different power couples out there.

Here are four trends that I'm seeing.*

1) The Alpha male beneath the surface of the "every day"** guy. You have the nice guy, usually smart and successful. He doesn't stand out in the heroine's eyes until he falls for her. He becomes driven to make her his. He might be smooth and savvy, but he gets arrogant and possessive.

2) The Alpha female and the Beta male. Many say this is the perfect match. Some women do fantasize about being in control. Just remember that the Alpha female isn't necessarily bossy and the Beta male isn't weak.

3) Geeky heroes. The girls who idolized Hermione Granger have grown up, and they prefer brains over brawn. A smart hero is better than one who muscles his way through life.

4) The "every day" woman emerges as the heroine. A woman with a crappy job, bad fashion sense, social anxieties, and/or obnoxious family members. The supernatural hero sees something special in her and falls in love.

Have you seen any new trends lately?

*I'm looking for new stories in PNR with different heroes, and I dig around all over the internet to find them. Are these books going to become the new big thing? I don't know, but I love seeing how romance novels evolve over the decades. (Check out this article on the evolution of the romance novel.)

**We are told these characters are every day folks, but it is fiction. Their lives have to be much more entertaining than ours!

17 comments:

  1. It's pretty hard to break out of the norm, and like with everything, if someone writes a new thing and it works, everyone tries it, and it stops being new and special lol!



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  2. I agree, while there's nothing wrong with the alpha male/kick-butt heroine dynamic, when that's all that's seen, it does get pretty tiresome after a while. It's always refreshing to see something new in the genre!

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  3. I always fall for the alpha who is a beta...but only for the right woman.

    You had the alpha female and beta male in 13th Floor and it worked well too. Like you said, an alpha doesn't have to be a bitch and a beta doesn't have to be weak.

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  4. I still love a kick-butt heroine, but alpha males can grate on a person's nerves after a while.

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  5. I think its part of the escapism of reading that the characters have lives more interesting than ours. And we all like to think us normal folks would 'rise' and answer the call to be heroes. Those stories will always sell.

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  6. I think the "everyday guy/gal" trend is meant to function so that the reader can better relate. "I'm like that!" the reader says, and then puts him- or herself into the place of the protagonist. There's almost a Mary Sue aspect at play.

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  7. I haven't so much seen the last one, but I'm not reading a ton of PNR lately--unless its YA PNR. I have see a ton of the rich-and-powerful trending (I blame that on 50 Shades of Grey) and there was a brief trend of pastor's daughters. Or at least it seemed that way to me.

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  8. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I see the rich and powerful trending too. Not too many poor street orphans any more!

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  9. It isn't paranormal, but I'm growing tired of the ultra-wealthy, damaged hero thing. Sure, it's easy to sweep a woman off her feet if you have more money than God...

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  10. I don't mind seeing a lot of the same thing over and over in stories, as long as the characters and writing grab me. If I can't connect w/the characters, then I'm out! =)

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  11. Hi Christine,

    I shall blame my disjointed comment on it being gone three thirty in the morning. I should get some sleep....

    Huh!? Where am I? Oh yeah, let's get away from the same old stuff. Did you know that I'm actually a fictional character created by Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar? This could become a new trend.

    Actually, you are only imagining I left a comment.

    Penny's pretend human,

    Gary :)

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  12. Excellent analysis, Christine. I just tweeted this post. Great job!

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  13. I definitely love it when the everyday woman becomes the heroine, and geeky heroes. When I'm writing though, I love to pair an alpha female with an alpha male. :)

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  14. I like the idea of an "every day" woman coming out of her shell and attracting the supernatural hero.

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  15. I'll read whatever as long as the characters are strong. I really, really don't like the guy who treats the girl like crap and she's still all over him. I read two of those. I hope that's not a trend.

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  16. We've got to buck the trends but still manage to corner an audience. Quite the balancing act.

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