Weeping heros


Written on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 by haleigh

So as I put off revisions, I've been reading like a fiend. And thanks to the recommendations of several friends, I am happy to report that I've found two new authors that I adore: Lisa Kleypas, and Julia Quinn (yes, I'm horribly late on both of these bandwagons).

But one thing I noticed as I sucked down three novels this weekend, was that in each, the hero cried. Wept, even, in two of the three.

I must say, (and all of my feminist friends can cringe in unison as I admit to this), I am not a big fan of men crying. In fact, I only know one real-life man who cries easily. In the past five years, I've seen my husband's eyes turn a bit red once, when a family member died suddenly. But no weeping. I've never seen my father cry.

And usually, in books, when an alpha male starts crying, I put the book down. There's just something about an alpha and tears that don't work for me.

However, in each of these three books this weekend, the tears made total sense, and made me even more sympathetic to the hero. In each case, it was something worthy of crying over. And never, in any of the books, were the tears in the presence of the heroine. (in two books he cried with his mother, in the third, it was a flashback with his former fiance)

I wonder, if he was weeping on the shoulder of the heroine, I would feel different. Or if it were described more. In each case, it was a simple: "and he wept." And in each case, I was already crying for him.

So here's my question for anyone reading. Do weeping alpha's bother you? Are there instances when it's okay? Not okay? Have you ever written weeping alpha male? Have you ever written a scene or scenario worthy of tears?

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  1. Melissa |

    Found your blog and love it. :) What a great question, Haleigh! Weeping alphas don't bother me simply because they are alphas. It had to have been something earth shattering to break him down.

    My guess is that, when a hero does weep, we're probably deep in his POV to feel his pain and he's likely alone, like a lone wolf howling at the moon. I can't see that he's going to break down with his guy friends and, well, 'cry like a girl' - - that would be scary and not okay. lol I would think it would also be not okay that he "cried with his mother" as you found, but it just goes to show that a good writer can make anything work. I think it's romantic to think an alpha male would cry over the heroine. But only once and the heroine better be deserving!

    And I think a weeping heroine is almost harder to take if not done right.

  2. haleigh |

    Hi Melissa! Glad you found me here :)

    I must agree that a weeping heroine can be harder. I heard somewhere the advice, "If your character starts crying, your reader stops," and it's stuck in my head. I'm a crier by nature, so I have to usually delete scenes where my heroines cry :)

    And yes, crying on mom's shoulder in these books does sound a bit less than alpha doesn't it? But somehow, it worked :) Goes to show just what you can do with a deep POV.

  3. Jessica |

    I'm with you on crying men. So thankful hubby's not a crier. I feel horrible for saying that, but it's how I feel.
    You're right about how good writers can make things work.

  4. Kelly Krysten |

    I'm usually not much for weeping either but there was one of LK's books where I LOVED it. It was so right. Sometimes it just works. I don't know if it has to do with the author's skill level or simply the story.
    Great blog!

  5. haleigh |

    Hi Jessica - don't feel horrible, I feel the same way! (though I also cringe when I admit it). But you're right, in the hands of a superb author, almost anything can work.

  6. haleigh |

    Hi Kelly! I think LK is just one of those authors who can make even weeping alphas work. But you're right - the story around it has to be there too.

  7. Jessica |

    Hey, saw your comment over at Scott Eagan's blog! He was on my list until I noticed he doesn't sell inspirational . . . grrr.
    Are you planning to query him? I bet you'd write stuff he'd rep.

  8. Jessica |

    Woman, where art thou? Did I spell that right? Anyways. . . how're revisions going?


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