Writing Bad Boys

I love a bad boy. Love. I’ve written some great ones, my favorite being in a series of books that shall  never see the light of day…I think. I always redeem them in the end, because not only am I a sucker for bad boys, I’m a sucker for redemption. But I have a problem, and I blame my husband for it.

Writing the bad boy is fun, but he’s always a secondary character in my worlds. My main protags tend to be those noble heroes who always come through, and that’s why I blame my husband, because he’s who I love, and who he is–a noble hero. He has spent his life in service of others, always thinking first of what’s right for all, not just right for him. He is by no means perfect; gads that would bore the hell out of me. But Frankie D is a hero. He’s my hero. And he ends up in all my stories.

All my stories but this one…

I’m working on Waking Savannah the third Bitterly Suite Romance. From the start, Adelmo Gallegos–my male protag–was to be a bad boy. He’s a player who’s been played, bigtime, and hiding out in the relative anonymity of Bitterly, CT. He’s not a bad guy. He’s charming. He doesn’t set out to hurt people, but he’s not opposed to using them either. Problem is, though I started out with that in mind, he became the noble hero somewhere along the way, always saying the right thing, doing the right thing, putting others ahead of himself. (Dammit, Frank!) I ended up going back to page one and giving him a POV, as a way to get more of him into it.

Just like I knew I wanted him to be a bad boy, I knew I wanted him redeemed. This is a romance, after all. Giving him a POV helped, but it wasn’t completely cutting it. I was redeeming him way too fast. Farts. I went back to page one again, and magic happened.

I hadn’t boffed the first draft like I thought I did. On the contrary. It’s all there, just as it needs to be. What wasn’t there were the little nuances to show his evolution from faking it, to being sincere.

Ade’s scenes are not going to change much. His interactions with Savannah–my female protag–will remain largely the same. It’s the internal bits and pieces that will change. He’s a charmer, and she’s been alone a long time. Her vulnerability is, in part, what helps him to evolve, to become the person she believes he is. It’s that nuance I’m missing, that evolution from faking it to sincerity.

I started filling in those pieces this morning, and I’m finally out of noble-hero-mode and into bad-boy. Whew! Sometimes, it takes some wrestling to get my thoughts and intentions to align with fast-flying-fingers working somewhat on automatic.



Filed under Writing is Life

11 responses to “Writing Bad Boys

  1. Bad boys are my fav! Particularly those who redeem themselves. 😉 My hubby is a noble hero through and through, but he has an edge to him I love. I try to depict that in all my written heroes as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. From what you’ve told me about Adelmo, I’m ready to fall in love with him already. There are so many definitions of “bad boy” – What I like is the scoundrel with the good heart. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      You like your Han Solo’s, eh? 🙂
      Ade is a noble hero who lost his way, ended up on the wrong side of the tracks. He thought he was the best at “the game” and when it turned out he wasn’t, he was humilated and angry. Over the course of the story, he’s going to find his way back to who he might have been had he never got caught up in things. Now I just have to do this effectively, and not sloppily as I have up until now!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like a bad boy, dark, edgy, gritty – in my stories – In real life, I prefer my husband who is smart, sweet, laid back, easy going but always puts me and the kids first. I also like the unlikely hero. The kind of guy who is cute, but not ruggedly handsome, is a bit nerdy with a big heart. He thinks he has no chance to get the girl when is competition is the bad boy, but in the end he wins 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      I think it’s natural to lust after the bad boy, but hold the noble hero close to our hearts.
      No wonder you love Odd Thomas. He’s you’re kind of hero! I still have to get Frankie D one of those books to try out.


  4. You know me, I like my troubled men in fiction. I’m a firm believe that in both fiction and real life, what a person shows us on the surface is merely a fraction of their story. Nothing is better than a tough guy on the surface who has a great story to tell and show us what else he’d made of. Enjoyed the post!


  5. Redemption? Hell, yes!
    Bad boys? I try not to do boys of any description. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Terri-Lynne DeFino

    Bad girls, on the other hand… 😉


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