Since we’ve already talked in depth about villains, I’m going to take a minor step toward the side of good and talk a little bit about bad boys.
|Even bad boys need a magazine|
And I’ll be the first to admit, bad boys might be a tad cliché. Inherently, I think they’re similar. Because what makes a bad boy? Dark, moody, strong-willed, badass.
But let me say this: I DON’T CARE.
I want my bad boys moody, broody and sexy. And I want them to be badass. So a writer’s biggest challenge is to make a bad boy bad, but give him a characteristic totally unexpected.
Make him a genius. Give him a weird habit, like drinking a seaweed smoothie every morning. Maybe he does Yoga. Maybe he’s religious. Something to twist that cliché a little bit and make it crack.
With that said, let’s go over the Top Ten Things I see often in bad boys in fiction, so you can either a) use them or b) avoid them. Or z) just wing it and see what you come up with. I’m willing to give a nerdy bad boy who knits and smokes a pipe a chance.
Top Ten Bad Boy Characteristics
1. Wears a leather jacket
2. Speaks a foreign language
3. Shows little emotion
4. Has a dark past
5. Drives a classic muscle car
6. Rides a motorcycle
7. Killer abs
8. Night owl
9. Doesn’t say much
10. Powerful (either because he’s a badass magic-wielder or because he knows how to properly fistfight/use a gun)
[Side note: Wanna know which of the Top Ten apply to Sam from ALTERED? 2, 3, 4, 7, 10 --- but you can bet I would have given him a leather jacket if I could have --- they were fresh out of leather in the lab where he was ALTERED J ]
Jennifer Rush is the author of ALTERED coming Fall 2012 from Little, Brown. Check out her blog for news and updates.